Valdivia, Luciano, & Molina, 2006

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APA Citation: 

Valdivia, S., Luciano, C., & Molina, F. J. (2006). Verbal regulation of motivational states. The Psychological Record, 56, 577-595.

Publication Topic: 
RFT: Empirical
Publication Type: 

The motivational function exerted by verbal antecedents has been extensively approached from a theoretical perspective and within the direct conditioning paradigm. However, there is little research concerning the alteration of the motivational function via verbal means. The current study presents 2 consecutive experiments in which the role of the verbal context in the alteration of different motivational states was examined. In the first experiment, a protocol consisting of a story about feeling hot and thirsty was administered individually to 5 children, 6 to 7 years old. After the implementation of the protocol, all children reported feeling thirstier than before the implementation, and behaved in accordance with this report. In the second experiment with 5 other children, this effect was replicated with a different motivational state (physical restriction). More importantly, in a second phase with the same children, the effect was prevented when the thirst protocol was presented in a verbal context that was incoherent with feeling thirsty. Several verbal contexts in altering motivational functions, as well as some clinical implications, are discussed.

Authors describe results from two studies were they attempted to control the motivational states of the participants. The results support the concept of augmentals: derived transformation of stimulus function can by established or altered by verbal stimuli.
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