The Premack Principle describes how activities can be used as reinforcers for behavior that is less probable in an individual. In this lesson. Español: Un boceto del aparato utilizado por David Premack en para un experimento de comportamiento para demostrar el principio de. principio de maduración anticipatoria principio (т) Пе maduración Prägnanz principle principio (т) Пе Premack – Premack’s principle principio (т) Пе primacía .

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In one procedure, eating was the reinforcing response, and playing pinball served as the instrumental response; that is, the children had to play pinball in order to eat candy.

Reinforcement occurs only when the situation is set up so that access to the contingent response has lremack reduced relative to its baseline level. This study, among others, helps to confirm the Premack principle in showing that a high-probability activity can be an effective reinforcer for an activity that the subject is less likely to perform.

Views Read Edit View history. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. In effect, the subject must subsequently increase responding to make up for the “deprivation” of the contingent response.

File:Diagrama del experimento de – Wikimedia Commons

Some of the children preferred one activity, some the other. By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. The Premack principle was derived from a study of Cebus monkeys by Professor David Premackbut it has explanatory and predictive power when applied to humans, and it has been used by therapists practicing applied behavior analysis.


Premack gave the children two response alternatives, eating candy or playing a pinball machine, and determined which of these behaviors was more probable for each child. An individual will be more motivated to perform a particular activity if he knows that he will partake in a more desirable activity as a consequence.

File:Diagrama del experimento de Premack.png

The results were consistent with the Premack principle: This page was last edited on 22 March principlo, at More desirable behaviors are those that individuals spend more time doing if permitted; less premakc behaviors are those that individuals spend less time doing when free to act. In the second phase of the experiment, the children were tested with one of two procedures. An example is a mother who says “You have to finish your vegetables low frequency before you can eat any ice cream high frequency “.

The roles of responses were reversed in the second test, with corresponding results.

Premack’s principle

Several subsequent experiments have supported this alternative to the Premack principle. All articles with unsourced statements Articles with unsourced se from March Experimenters observe the extent to which an individual is deprived of, or prevented from performing, the behavior that is later made contingent on the second behavior. That is, only children who preferred playing pinball over eating candy showed a reinforcement effect.


Premack’s principle suggests that if a person wants to perform a given activity, the person will perform a less desirable activity to get at the more desirable activity; that is, activities may themselves be reinforcers. David Premack and his colleagues, and others, have conducted a number of experiments to test the effectiveness of the Premack pprincipio in humans.

Such observations led the team of Timberlake and Allison to propose the Response Deprivation hypothesis.

Premack’s principle – Wikipedia

Premack’s principleor the relativity theory of reinforcementstates that more probable behaviors will reinforce less probable behaviors. Premack’s principle may be violated if a situation or schedule of reinforcement provides much more of the high-probability behavior than of the low-probability principik. Just as “reward” was commonly used to alter behavior long before “reinforcement” was studied experimentally, the Premack principle has long been informally understood and used in a wide variety of circumstances.

Retrieved from ” https: Stated objectively, if high-probability behaviors more desirable behaviors ptemack made contingent upon lower-probability behaviors less desirable behaviorsthen the lower-probability behaviors are more likely to occur. One of the earliest studies was conducted with young children.