Exemplar training and a derived transformation of functions in accordance with symmetry and equivalence

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APA Citation: 

Gómez, S., López, F., Martín, C. B., Barnes-Holmes, Y., & Barnes-Holmes, D. (2007). Exemplar training and a derived transformation of functions in accordance with symmetry and equivalence. Psychological Record, 57(2), 273-294.

Publication Topic: 
RFT: Empirical
Publication Type: 
exemplar training; derived transformation of functions; symmetry; target derived equivalence; conditional discriminations

The current study consisted of 2 parts, with the same 4 normally developing 4-yr-old children employed across both parts. The primary aim of Part 1 was to replicate previous research on exemplar training and its impact upon the emergence of repertoires of derived symmetry or mutually entailed relations. In this part of the study, the children were trained in action-object conditional discriminations and were then exposed to a symmetry test for the derived object-action relations. All 4 participants demonstrated derived symmetry without needing exemplar training. In Part 2, the conditional discrimination training was extended such that 2 actions were associated with each object and the children were then required to derive the target equivalence relations between the 2 related actions (i.e., action-action equivalence). Once again, a multiple baseline design was employed for the systematic introduction of exemplars of action-action training. The results from Part 2 indicated that 3 of the 4 children demonstrated the target-derived equivalence relations only after they received explicit equivalence training. These findings support the role given to exemplar training within a Relational Frame Theory interpretation of derived stimulus relations and suggest its utility as a means of establishing symmetry and equivalence when they are found to be absent.

This is a very straightforward study programming transformation of function with young children. The first experiment simply exposed four children to action-object exemplar training and tested for symmetry. Experiment two enhanced transformation via multiple exemplar training; effectively demonstrating the ability to program stimulus relations via exemplar training.
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