Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)




Faculty of Science

First Advisor

Not applicable

Advisor Role

Not applicable


In order to test the hypothesis that positive verbal reinforcement is aversive to incarcerated delinquents, one of two equated groups of fifteen males Ss received encouragement for correct responses made during a concept attainment task. It was predicted that reinforced Ss would achieve a significant mean increase in concept attainment errors during the period of social reinforcement. The reinforced Ss, however, made a significant mean reduction in errors. Differences within the reinforced group of Ss indicated that Ss who made reductions in errors were identified as introverted and low risks for recidivism; Ss who made increased errors during social reinforcement were identified as extroverted and high risks for recidivism. The findings, though not supporting the study hypothesis, were interpreted in the light of a recent theory of criminoginicity.

Convocation Year


Included in

Psychology Commons