PSYC 6717 Discussion: Stimulus Control

Discussion: Stimulus Control

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In the context of ABA, the applied behavior analyst often seeks to increase socially desirable behaviors and decrease socially undesirable behaviors. When a behavior is triggered (i.e., promoted or inhibited) by the presence or absence of some stimulus, the situation is said to have stimulus control. In operant conditioning, the stimulus control originates in something that comes before the behavior, called the antecedent. Therefore, in order to change a behavior, it is useful to understand what antecedents might promote or inhibit a behavior PSYC 6717 Discussion: Stimulus Control.

For this Discussion, you will consider examples of stimulus control in your environment, including identifying the stimuli that evoke certain desired and undesired behaviors.

To Prepare

  • Review the Learning Resources for this week, including the required weekly media program, to gain an understanding of stimulus control. Note: It is important for you to review the media for this week prior to completing this Discussion.
  • Consider stimuli in your environment that evoke certain desired and undesired behavior.
  • Review the interactive media in the Learning Resources, “Stimulus Control Knowledge Check.”

By Day 4 of Week 10

Post what is meant by stimulus control and describe stimuli in your environment that evoke certain desired and undesired behavior.

According to (Cooper, et al, 2020), stimulus control is a situation in which a behaviour is altered or triggered by the presence or absence of a stimulus. Example of a stimulus control in my own environment is that I cannot eat without watching tv. When eating without watching tv I tend not to enjoy the food. It is an ongoing triggered behaviour PSYC 6717 Discussion: Stimulus Control.

Cooper, J. O., Heron, T. E., & Heward, W. L. (2020). Applied behavior analysis (3rd ed.). Pearson.

Read your colleagues’ postings.

Note: For this discussion, you are required to complete your initial post before you will be able to view and respond to your colleagues’ postings. Begin by clicking on the To Participate in this Discussion link, then select Create Thread to complete your initial post. Remember, once you click on Submit, you cannot delete or edit your own posts, and cannot post anonymously. Please check your post carefully before clicking on Submit!

By Day 6 of Week 10

Respond to at least two colleagues’ posts by expanding on each colleague’s explanation of what is meant by stimulus control and whether you would respond in a similar way to the stimulus.

Be sure to support your posts and responses with specific references to behavior-analytic theory and research. In addition to the Learning Resources, search the Walden Library and/or the internet for peer-reviewed articles to support your posts and responses. Use proper APA format and citations, including those in the Learning Resources.


Return to this Discussion in a few days to read the responses to your initial posting. Note what you have learned and/or any insights that you have gained because of your colleagues’ comments PSYC 6717 Discussion: Stimulus Control.

I enjoyed reading your post!  It was very insightful!

According to the APA (2021), stimulus control is “the extent to which behavior is influenced by different stimulus conditions. It can refer to different responses occurring in the presence of different stimuli or to differences in the rate, temporal organization, or topography of a single response in the presence of different stimuli”.

I also don’t enjoy eating if I’m not watching TV, unless I’m eating dinner out.  I’ve gotten so used to eating in the living room in front of my TV, that many times, I don’t want to eat if I don’t have access to a TV.  My behavior of eating is controlled by the stimulus of watching TV.



American Psychological Association. (2021). Apa Dictionary of Psychology. American Psychological Association. Retrieved November 7, 2021, from 6717 Discussion: Stimulus Control