|International Symposium - Variables Influencing Equivalence Class Formation|
|Sunday, May 25, 2008|
|10:30 AM–11:50 AM |
|Area: EAB; Domain: Basic Research|
|Chair: Erik Arntzen (Oslo and Akershus University College )|
|Abstract: This symposium will include four different papers on variables that are important for the formation of equivalence classes. The first paper by Vaidya will discuss results from three different experiments put up to test for Sidman’s suggestion about two outcomes of operant reinforcement. In the second paper by Fields et al. argue that a highly programmed preliminary training protocol (HPTP) has shown to be superior to other procedures in the formation of equivalence classes. The third paper by Tomanari et al. has used an observing response methodology to assess and make explicit the stimulus control that comprises a matching-to-sample performance. They found that Matching-to-Sample involves control by both “correct” and “incorrect” comparisons early in its development, but the maintenance of a successful Matching-to-Sample eventually depends only upon control by the "correct" comparison stimulus. The fourth paper by Arntzen and Halstadtro has studied the effects of pictures as nodes in an MTO training structure. The results showed that pictures as nodes give a higher yield of equivalence responding.|
|Common Stimulus Functions and the Development of Equivalence.|
|MANISH VAIDYA (University of North Texas)|
|Abstract: Sidman (1994, 2000) suggests that operant reinforcement gives rise to two distinct set of outcomes. One is the development of familiar analytic units such as discrimination, differentiation, etc. The second is the development of equivalence relations that consist of pairs of all positive elements that comprise the reinforcement contingency. The address will present data from three experiments in which these ideas were put to the test. The data from the 1st and 3rd experiments provide general support for Sidman’s (2000) ideas about the provenance of equivalence relations. The 2nd experiment suggests that Sidman’s notion of “positive” elements may need some clarification. Specifically, our data suggest that stimuli that have never been correlated with reinforcement can nevertheless become equivalent. Taken together, these data suggest that the histories that are necessary and sufficient for equivalence class formation can be more varied than research in the past has suggested. This idea is consistent with Sidman’s more recent thoughts about the provenance of equivalence relations.|
|Two Parameters of Preliminary Training that Enhance Equivalence Class Formation Using a Trace Stimulus Pairing Yes No Paradigm.|
|LANNY FIELDS (Queens College/City University of New York), Erica Doran (The Graduate Center of the City University of New York), Michael E. Marroquin (The Graduate Center of the City University of New York)|
|Abstract: Equivalence classes can be formed using a variety of trial formats. While high yields (>90% of subjects) can be obtained when training and testing are conducted in a MTS format, much lower yields (~50-60% of subjects) are obtained when training and testing are conducted using a trace stimulus pairing yes no trial format. If however, this equivalence class training procedure is preceded by a highly programmed preliminary training protocol (HPTP), 100% of subjects formed equivalence classes.
The highly programmed preliminary training procedure includes many sets of training stimuli, which shared common stimuli on an overlapping basis: ABC, BCD, CDE, DEF. The A, B, and C stimuli are real words (designated as w). The D, E, and F stimuli are nonsense syllables (designated as n). Thus, the six stimuli are designated as Aw, Bw, Cw, Dn, En, and Fn. Preliminary training took place in four phases. Phase 1 involved the training of Aw-Bw and Bw-Cw. Thereafter, the potential transitive relation Aw-Cw was also trained. Phase 2 involved the training of Bw-Cw and Cw-Dn. Thereafter, the potential transitive relation Bw-Dn was also trained. Phase 3 involved the training of Dn-En and En-Fn. Thereafter, the potential transitive relation Dn-Fn was also trained. All conditional discriminations were acquired rapidly. Responding on the transitive relations was completely accurate on the first trial of training. Thus, transitivity was emergent.
As mentioned above, once completed, all subjects learned new 2-node 4-member equivalence classes using trials presented in the trace stimulus pairing yes no format. Thus, the likelihood of equivalence class formation was greatly enhanced by prior exposure to the above mentioned highly programmed preliminary training procedure.
What aspects of preliminary training were responsible for its’ effect? The procedure involved the establishment of many conditional discriminations, the gradual shifting of stimuli in the conditional discriminations from all words in a set to words and nonsense syllables in a set, to all nonsense syllables in a set, and the direct training of transitive relations among the stimuli in each set. Two additional conditions were studied to isolate the effects of two of these parameters.
In one condition, the highly programmed preliminary training protocol was conducted without the inclusion of the AC trials. This procedure also resulted in the formation of new equivalence classes by 100% of subjects. Therefore...|
|Uncover the Pictures to Match to Sample: Analyzing Stimulus Control along an Equivalence Procedure.|
|GERSON YUKIO TOMANARI (University of Sao Paulo), Eliana Isabel De Moraes Hamasaki (Universidade de São Paulo, Brasil)|
|Abstract: Variations in stimulus control during training and test conditions may affect the demonstration of stimulus equivalence. In the present experiment, we employed observing response methodology to assess and make explicit the stimulus control that comprises a matching-to-sample performance. Three undergraduate students were exposed to a standard equivalence procedure, except that a dark mask covered the sample and the comparison stimuli. To perform the zero-delay matching-to-sample task that included three arbitrary classes with three visual stimuli in each, subjects could emit observing responses to temporarily clear the mask and display one stimulus at a time. All subjects' mastered the trained conditional relations and demonstrated the formation of equivalence classes. The subjects tended to uncover all three comparisons in the beginning of the training and also when test sessions were first presented. By the end of the training and after some exposure to a set of test sessions, comparisons were uncovered only until the "correct" one was displayed. Then a "correct" choice normally followed. Thus, Matching-to-Sample involves control by both “correct” and “incorrect” comparisons early in its development, but the maintenance of a successful Matching-to-Sample eventually depends only upon control by the "correct" comparison stimulus.|
|Pictures and Formation of Equivalence Classes.|
|ERIK ARNTZEN (Akershus University College), Lill-Beathe Halstadtrø (Trondsletten Habilitation Services, Norway)|
|Abstract: Earlier studies in our lab with pictures as nodes have shown to be effective with respect to produce responding in accord with equivalence in adult participants (Arntzen, 2004; Holth & Arntzen, 1998). On the other hand, Smeets and Barnes-Holmes (2005) have found that using pictures did not increase responding in accord with equivalence in two 3-member classes in children. In the current experiment we trained ten children to form three 3-member classes in an MTO training structure. Five of the children started with a condition with only abstract stimuli, followed by a condition with pictures as nodes and the other stimuli were abstract stimuli. The other five participants started with the condition with pictures as nodes and the other stimuli as abstract stimuli, followed by the condition with only abstract stimuli. The results showed that the condition with pictures as nodes gave the highest yield of responding in accord with equivalence. The results from Smeets and Barnes-Holmes (2005) could be related to the fact that they give a detailed start-up instruction and that they use a two-choice matching-to- sample format, while in the current study we have been very careful not to give any instructions which could be responsible for the equivalence relations, and also, we have use a three-choice matching-to-sample format. If you are training naming responses as in Smeets and Barnes-Holmes (2005) it could be that to introduce pictures would not have any effect.|