|Relational Stimulus Control in Human Participants
|Sunday, May 25, 2008
|2:30 PM–3:50 PM
|Area: EAB; Domain: Basic Research
|Chair: Rachel Kolb (University of North Carolina, Wilmington)
|Discussant: Manish Vaidya (University of North Texas)
|Abstract: This symposium will focus on novel research in the area of relational stimulus control with human participants and discuss the data in regards to theories of acquisition of conditional discriminations and origins of equivalence classes. Specifically, Stull’s presentation will focus on two experiments which investigated whether the facilitative effects of naming on the acquisition of conditional discrimination is due to enhancing discrimination of the sample and comparison stimuli or whether naming serves additional functions. Lobo will present data regarding the merger of functional classes and equivalence classes and will discuss these results in relation to Sidman’s observations on the formation of arbitrary emergent classes. Similarly, Veenstra’s talk will describe data from an experiment in which a common class member was arranged for two of three equivalence classes and discuss the implications of these results on Sidman’s (2000) theory of the origins of equivalence classes.
|Conditional Discrimination Acquisition in Young Children: Are the Facilitative Effects of Naming Due to Stimulus Discrimination?
|ANNE K. STULL (University of North Carolina, Wilmington), Carol Pilgrim (University of North Carolina, Wilmington), Jason Boye (University of North Carolina, Wilmington), Jessica Nimocks (University of North Carolina, Wilmington), Amanda Reilly (University of North Carolina, Wilmington)
|Abstract: These experiments investigate whether the facilitative effect of naming on the acquisition of conditional discriminations in young children is due to enhancing discrimination of the sample and comparison stimuli or whether naming serves additional functions. Seventeen typically developing children, ages 4 to 6, were presented with a three-choice arbitrary MTS AB conditional discrimination on Macintosh computers. The participants were randomly selected to be in one of two sequences of conditions. The conditions utilized in Experiment 1 were Tacting Condition 1 (naming sample stimuli); Tacting Condition 2 (naming sample and comparison stimuli); Tally Sheet Condition 1 (marking sample stimuli); and Tally Sheet Condition 2 (marking sample and comparison stimuli). The conditions utilized in Experiment 2 were Tacting Condition 1; Tacting Condition 2; Cards Condition 1 (pointing to sample stimuli); and Cards Condition 2 (pointing to sample and comparison stimuli). Five participants acquired the AB conditional discrimination; two did so without exposure to naming and without evidence of common naming, and three did so with the addition of common naming. One participant demonstrated evidence of common naming but did not acquire the AB conditional discrimination. These results demonstrate that although naming can facilitate acquisition, it is neither necessary nor sufficient.
|An Experimental Analysis of Merging Functional and Equivalence Classes.
|HAROLD E. LOBO (West Virginia University), Philip N. Chase (West Virginia University)
|Abstract: This presentation addresses merging of independent functional and equivalence classes into larger classes that feature new emergent relations. Training procedures will be discussed in which undergraduate students are taught to successfully demonstrate three two-member emergent functional classes in which arbitrary stimuli control the occurrence of nonsense syllables. In addition, these subjects are provided with baseline training yielding three three-member equivalence classes. The stimulus sets used for demonstrating the functional and equivalence classes allows these classes to remain independent from each other. Merging of pairs of functional and equivalence classes is obtained by linking members of the equivalence classes with responses or stimuli from the functional classes. A number of procedural variations used to produce class merging will be discussed. Further conceptual and methodological observations will be addressed, with particular attention to Sidman’s observations on the formation of arbitrary emergent classes.
|Analysis of Conditions Impacting Equivalence Class Merger in Young Children.
|REBECCA A. VEENSTRA (University of North Carolina, Wilmington, and The Munroe-Meyer Institute, University of Nebraska Medical Center), Carol Pilgrim (University of North Carolina, Wilmington), Rachel Kolb (University of North Carolina, Wilmington), Kelly Linville (University of North Carolina, Wilmington)
|Abstract: This experiment investigated the effects of introducing a common stimulus into two of three equivalence classes and examined the implications of the results for Sidman’s theory (2000). Participants were two children, ages five and six. In a previous experiment, both participants demonstrated the emergence of three four-member equivalence classes. First, CD conditional discrimination training was conducted in which selecting D1 in the presence of C1 and C2 resulted in class-specific consequences 1 and 2, respectively. Selecting D3 in the presence of C3 resulted in class-specific consequence 3, and selecting D2 resulted in a buzzer sound. Equivalence probes were conducted until stability criteria were achieved. For one participant, revised CD conditional discriminations were trained in which selecting D1, D2, and D3 in the presence of C1, C2, and C3, resulted in class-specific consequences 1, 2, and 3, respectively. Equivalence probes were again administered. Finally, original CD conditional discrimination training was reintroduced and equivalence probes were administered. Participants’ performances indicated that despite training in which a stimulus was common to two equivalence classes, the classes remained independent and the common stimulus dropped out of one of the classes. These results are consistent with Sidman’s (2000) position regarding the origins of equivalence classes.