|Important Procedural Arrangements in Equivalence Class Formation|
|Sunday, May 25, 2014|
|2:00 PM–3:50 PM |
|W176b (McCormick Place Convention Center)|
|Area: EAB; Domain: Basic Research|
|Chair: Erik Arntzen (Oslo and Akershus University College )|
|Discussant: Manish Vaidya (University of North Texas)|
The present symposium focuses on different procedural arrangements that could be important for formation of equivalence classes. Thus, techniques for presenting meaningful stimuli, which could be, defined as stimuli that have acquired successive and simultaneous discriminative properties, as well as conditional discriminative properties will be discussed, along with other important procedural arrangements. The first paper by Arntzen, Steingrimsdottir, and Nartey present an experiment on the role of morphing in expansion of equivalence classes in typically developing children. The second paper by Fields and Arntzen ask about the effects of the inclusion of a meaningful stimulus in a set of nominally meaningless stimuli enhance the formation of and equivalence class consisting of such a stimulus set. The third paper by Almeida, Perez, and de Rose investigated transformation of meaning across relations of equivalence and opposition. Finally, Soares Filho, Clavijo-Alvarez, and Tomanari present on experiment that investigated the effects of positive and negative reinforcement on the acquisition of conditional discriminations and equivalence class formation in humans.
|Keyword(s): meaningful stimuli, morphing, stimulus equivalence|
|On the Role of Morphing in Expansion of Equivalence Classes|
|ERIK ARNTZEN (Oslo and Akershus University College ), Hanna Steinunn Steingrimsdottir (Oslo and Akershus University College), Richard Nartey (Akershus University College)|
|Abstract: We will present an experiment with children as participants where we asked if it was possible train to two sets of stimuli, that is two three 4-members classes and then connect the two sets of stimuli by training the link between the nodes. This was followed by an overall test for emergent relations. Thirty children were random assigned to three different groups. A many-to-one training structure was employed for training both sets. Participants in the three groups were exposed to varying degree of abstract to familiar stimuli and also conditions with morphed stimuli (50 % of abstract and familiar stimuli). The main findings are that more participants who were exposed to familiar stimuli as the node and the other stimuli as abstract stimuli formed equivalence classes than participants with all abstract stimuli. The last group with morphed stimuli formed equivalence classes as the group with familiar stimuli as node.|
|The Class Enhancing Effects of Meaningful Stimuli Attributable to Their Discriminative and Conditional Discriminative Properties|
|LANNY FIELDS (Queens College, City University of New York), Erik Arntzen (Oslo and Akershus University College )|
|Abstract: The inclusion of a meaningful stimulus in a set of nominally meaningless stimuli enhances the formation of and equivalence class consisting of such a stimulus set. Meaningful stimuli have acquired successive and simultaneous discriminative properties, as well as conditional discriminative properties. Thus, it is possible that these stimulus control functions could be responsible for the enhancement of equivalence class formation. This notion has been evaluated in a number of recent experiments in equivalence classes have been formed by sets of nominally meaningless stimuli. Before class formation, however, one of the stimuli in the set is given discrimination training or conditional discrimination training. Thereafter, an attempt is made to form an equivalence class that contains the stimulus with an acquired stimulus control function along with other meaningless stimuli. Prior acquisition of successive discriminations enhances equivalence class formation but less so that a class consisting of a meaningful stimulus. The overtraining of the successive discrimination increases likelihood of class format to the level produced by the meaningful stimulus. When one meaningless stimulus becomes a member of one conditional discrimination, it too enhances likelihood of class formation but not as much as the inclusion of a meaningful stimulus in a class. Overtraining does not produce further enhancement of class formation. In contrast, the establishment of many conditional discrimination with one meaningless stimulus prior to class formation enhances likelihood of class formation to the same extent as the inclusion of a meaningful stimulus in the class. These results and others support the views that the class enhancing function of a meaningful stimulus can be accounted for by the presumed stimulus control functions acquired by meaningful stimuli.|
Transformation of Meaning Through Relations of Equivalence and Opposition
|JOAO ALMEIDA (Universidade Federal de Sao Carlos), William Ferreira Perez (University of Sao Paulo), Julio C. De Rose (Universidade Federal de Sao Carlos)|
Studies using different methods confirmed that equivalent stimuli share meaning. For instance, assessments with a semantic differential (SD) and the IRAP demonstrated that arbitrary stimuli acquired the meaning of equivalent facial expressions of emotions. According to Relational Frame Theory, equivalence is one among several kinds of relations that may be arbitrarily applied to stimuli. Other relations result in transformation, rather than transfer of meaning: for instance, an arbitrary stimulus bearing a relation of opposition to a meaningful one should acquire an opposite meaning. The present study investigated such transformation of meaning across relations of equivalence and opposition. Ten college students formed a relational network with A1 (facial expression of happiness) similar to B1 and opposite to B2, and B1 similar to C1 and opposite to C2. SD scores were compared with evaluations of the faces by a control group and indicated transfer of meaning to the equivalent arbitrary stimuli and acquisition of an opposite meaning by the opposite stimuli. IRAP results showed a more robust indication of transfer of meaning to equivalent stimuli and transformation of meaning of opposite stimuli. Results in general support the expected transfer and transformation of functions but some inconsistencies require further research.
Effects of Positive and Negative Reinforcement on the Acquisition of Conditional Discriminations and Equivalence Class Formation
|Paulo Sergio Dillon Soares Filho (Universidade de Sao Paulo), Alvaro A. Clavijo Alvarez (Universidade de Sao Paulo), GERSON YUKIO TOMANARI (Universidade de Sao Paulo)|
This experiment investigated the effects of positive and negative reinforcement on the acquisition of conditional discriminations and equivalence class formation in humans. Thirteen participants were exposed to the training of 12 conditional relations (six AB and six BC) in a MTS procedure. Four relations were trained using positive reinforcement (+10 points contingent to correct choices and 0 point contingent to incorrect choices); four using negative reinforcement (0 point / - 10 points); and four using positive and negative reinforcement together (+10 points / 10 points). Only five participants have reached the acquisition criterion and were exposed to the equivalence class tests. Comparing the acquisition, participants have first learned the conditional relations that have been trained on positive and negative reinforcement together. Then, they have learned the relations on negative and positive reinforcement contingences, in this sequence. All tested participants have shown similar test performances, no matter what contingencies of reinforcement they were exposed to.