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Related to stimulus control: discriminative stimulus


1. a device or mechanism for operating a car, aircraft, etc.
a. a device that regulates the operation of a machine. A dynamic control is one that incorporates a governor so that it responds to the output of the machine it regulates
b. (as modifier): control panel
3. Spiritualism an agency believed to assist the medium in a séance
4. a letter, or letter and number, printed on a sheet of postage stamps, indicating authenticity, date, and series of issue
5. one of a number of checkpoints on a car rally, orienteering course, etc., where competitors check in and their time, performance, etc., is recorded




(religion, spiritualism, and occult)

Control” is the term often used to designate the spirit operator of a séance. A more common name is “guide.” This entity regulates what is happening in terms of which spirits are allowed to come through to the medium, what form of communication is being used (clairvoyance, direct voice, etc.), whether or not such physical phenomena as apports might be apparent, and so on. Some people have more than one guide and the control is the chief one, or the one who is in control of the proceedings at any particular time.

Nandor Fodor said, “The body of the medium is an instrument which requires considerable practice in efficient handling. The control is a communications expert who watches over the fluency of the proceedings, often steps in if he vacated his place to explain confusion and repeats unintelligible expressions. The easygoing, conversational aspect of the séances is largely due to his presence … [the controls] are patient and ready to produce the phenomena to the sitters’ satisfaction. But they do not take orders, expect courteous treatment, appreciation for what they do and have their own caprices.” Controls are not all-knowing. Many times a control will admit to ignorance of a subject, or the answer to a question, and will say that he will ask another who knows.

Not all controls are male, although the majority seems to be. It is not known why this is. Controls often have helpers to assist with such things as the presentation of physical phenomena. These helpers can also aid in the explanation of incoherent messages.

William Stainton Moses recorded some blunders by controls. Once, perfume was supposed to be produced so that the sitters could smell it. Instead, such a terrible odor filled the room that the sitters had to leave. Another time heavy volumes of phosphoric smoke were produced, making the medium believe he was enveloped in fire. Usually when some untoward event such as these takes place, the control immediately orders the end of the session and the medium comes out of trance.


Fodor, Nandor: Encyclopedia of Psychic Science. London: Arthurs Press, 1933


(computer science)
The section of a digital computer that carries out instructions in proper sequence, interprets each coded instruction, and applies the proper signals to the arithmetic unit and other parts in accordance with this interpretation.
A mathematical check used with some computer operations.
(control systems)
A means or device to direct and regulate a process or sequence of events.
An input element of a cryotron.
A test made to determine the extent of error in experimental observations or measurements.
A procedure carried out to give a standard of comparison in an experiment.
Observations made on subjects which have not undergone treatment, to use in comparison with observations made on subjects which have undergone treatment.


Any device for regulating a system or component during its normal (manual or automatic) operation; it is responsive, during automatic operation, to the property (such as pressure or temperature) whose magnitude is to be regulated.


(Or "ctrl", "^") One (or a pair) of modifier keys found on all modern keyboards. If the control key is held down while pressing and releasing certain other keys then a "control character" is generated, e.g. holding control and hitting "A" generates control-A (ASCII code 1). The ASCII code for the control character is generally 64 less than that for the unmodified character.

The control key does not generate any character on its own but most modern keyboards and operating systems allow a program to tell whether each of the individual keys on the keyboard (including modifier keys) is pressed at any time.

Control characters mostly have some kind of "non-printing" effect on the output such as ringing the bell (Control-G) or advancing to the next line (Control-J). Most have alternative names suggesting these functions (Bell, Line Feed, etc.).

See ASCII character table.


A program module or routine that enhances the functionality of a program. A control can be as small as a single button on a user interface or as large as a complicated forecasting algorithm. The term is often used with regard to user interface functions such as buttons, menus and dialog boxes. See ActiveX control, AWT, anchor and user interface control.
References in periodicals archive ?
As such, it seems unlikely that the lack of retention of the stimulus equivalence classes over time seen for many participants was caused by weak stimulus control or the lack of fluency of performance at the end of conditional discrimination training.
The role of observing and attention in establishing stimulus control.
Combining sleep restriction therapy, stimulus control therapy
According to Wilkinson, de Souza and McIlvane (2000), the simultaneous control by the two types of stimulus control topographies may ensure the regularity of responding by exclusion and foster learning by exclusion.
These intermediate prompting steps were used to fade prompting while maintaining correct task performance in order to prevent the loss of stimulus control.
An analysis of the stimulus control characteristics of pervasive error patterns would be extremely useful for teaching children who display overselectivity.
2002b), extraneous stimulus control exerted by other sources than the experimenter-defined relation could be well responsible for the failure in Eq-Eq tests (Carpentier et al.
Manipulating establishing operations to verify and establish stimulus control during mand training.
Treatment tools include nonpharmacologic approaches, such as patient education in sleep hygiene and stimulus control techniques, as well as pharmacologic treatments with benzodiazepines, selective benzodiazepine-receptor agonists, and the melatonin-receptor agonist.
The intervention consisted of a fairly standard series of behavioral manipulations, such as sleep restriction (teaching patients to somewhat curtail their time in bed), stimulus control (telling them not to go to bed unless sleepy), sleep hygiene (teaching them how to nap appropriately), and other techniques.
He covers reinforcement, extinction, punishment, stimulation control, respondent conditioning, shaping, prompting, transfer of stimulus control, chaining, functional assessment, and tailoring basic principles and procedures into combinations that meet specific, complex needs along with advice on self-management and habit reversal.
Chapters cover "self-starting beliefs" to motivate positive personal change, means to identify and dispute one's own self-defeating and irrational beliefs, reinforcement techniques, stimulus control, time-out procedures, and many more ways to get a handle on one's own thoughts and actions.