The transformation of consequential functions in accordance with the relational frames of more-than and less-than

Printer-friendly version
APA Citation: 

Whelan, R., Barnes-Holmes, D., & Dymond, S. (2006). The transformation of consequential functions in accordance with the relational frames of more-than and less-than. Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior, 86(3), 317-335.

Publication Topic: 
RFT: Empirical
Publication Type: 
Article
Language: 
English
Keyword(s): 
consequential functions, transformation of functions, relational frames of More-than/Less than, reversal design, generalization, mouse click, human adults
Abstract: 

Across three experiments, the transformation of consequential functions in accordance with a seven member relational network (A–B–C–D–E–F–G) was investigated. In this network, the relational rankings ranged from A, ranked the least, to G, ranked the most. In the first phase, contextual cues for more-than and less-than were established by training participants across multiple exemplars to select comparisons containing larger quantities in the presence of the former cue, and fewer quantities in the presence of the latter cue. Participants then were trained in six conditional discriminations (i.e., A,B, B,C, C,D, E.D, F.E, and G.F) with the contextual cues as samples and nonsense words as comparisons, and all possible derived relations were tested (e.g., B,F). In a subsequent phase, the D stimulus was paired with the delivery of points. Next, a test for a transformation of consequential functions was presented in either simultaneous discrimination tasks (Experiments 1 and 2) or a free-operant schedule task (Experiment 3), each of which employed members of the relational network as consequences. In all experiments, participants consistently emitted the response that produced the derived consequential stimulus that was ranked higher in the relational network, thus demonstrating a transformation of consequential functions. In Experiment 2, the baseline conditional discriminations were altered in a reversal design, and Experiment 3 examined generalization of the derived performance to a schedulebased task, with and without detailed instructions. Overall, the study demonstrated a transformation and generalization of consequential functions in accordance with the relational frames of More-than and Less-than, and bears relevance to the literature on transitive inference.

This page contains attachments restricted to ACBS members. Please join or login with your ACBS account.