Effects of consequences on patterns of interlocked contingencies; A replication of a metacontingency experiment
Metacontingencies concept was taught to undergraduate students of Psychology by using a “game” simulation proposed originally by Vichi, Andery and Glenn (2009). Twenty-five students, distributed into three groups were exposed to six experimental sessions in which they had to make bets and divide the amounts gained. The three groups competed against each other for photocopies quotas. Two contingencies shifted over the sessions. Under Contingency B, the group would win points only if in the previous round each member had received the same amount of points and under Contingency A, winning was contingent on an unequal distribution of the points. We observed that proportional divisions predominated independent of the contingency in course. The manipulation of cultural consequences (winning or losing points) produced consistent modifications in two response categories: 1) choices of the value bet in each round, and 2) divisions of the points among group members. Controlling relations between cultural consequences and the behavior of dividing were statistically significant in one of the groups, whereas in the other two groups controlling relations were observed only in Contingency B. A review of the reinforcement criteria used in the original experiment is suggested.
Interlocking Contingencies, Metacontingency, Cultural contingencies, Social Behavior.
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