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Delayed Response

and stimulus subject psychological object

A characteristic event of an experimental procedure in which the subject is not permitted to respond to a stimulus until some time after the stimulus has been removed.

A delayed response experiment might include placing a stimulus object inside one of several similar opaque containers while the subject is watching but is restrained, and then allowing the subject to search for the object after a certain period of delay. Delayed response experiments have been conducted in the psychological study of both animals and (usually very young) humans. Some psychologists believe that the ability to respond appropriately after a significant delay indicates the operation of some form of advanced mental functioning, and that investigations of delayed response are useful in the comparative psychological analysis of various species.

[back] Delay of Gratification

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