Smeets & Barnes, 1997

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APA Citation: 

Smeets, P., & Barnes, D. (1997). Emergent conditional discrimination in children and adults: Stimulus equivalence derived from simple discriminations. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 66, 64-84.

Publication Topic: 
RFT: Empirical
Publication Type: 
Article
Language: 
English
Keyword(s): 
Discriminations (trained and derived); opposite and same functions
Abstract: 

This study examines whether trained and derived simple discriminations lead to conditional relations between discriminative stimuli of the same and opposite (S/, S0) functions. After being trained on an arbitrary X-Y task (X1-Y1, X2-Y2) and on two simple discrimination tasks (A1//A20 and B1//B20), children (Experiment 1) and adults (Experiment 2) were tested on the formation of novel simple discriminations (A3//A20 and B3//B20) and conditional stimulus relations between all directly and indirectly paired A stimuli and between all directly and indirectly paired B stimuli (A1-A2-A3, B1-B2-B3). Subjects who formed these sets also received A2-X1 and B1-X2 training followed by a series of probes to assess the formation of two fivemember stimulus equivalence classes (A1-A2-A3-X1-Y1, B1-B2-B3-X2-Y2). A modest majority of the children matched the directly paired stimuli (A2-A1, B2-B1 and A1-A2, B1-B2; A2-A3, B2-B3 and A3-A2, B3-B2) with one another while only a few of them also matched the indirectly paired stimuli with one another (A1-A3, B1- B3 and A3-A1, B3-B1). Those who did also related all the A and B stimuli with the designated X and Y stimuli. By contrast, all normal adults matched all paired and conditionally linked stimuli with one another. Present findings and those of related studies on stimulus equivalence are discussed from a stimulus contiguity perspective.

Comments: 
The authors, researchers at Leiden University and University College Cork, conducted a study to determine whether trained and derived simple discriminations lead to conditional relations between discriminative stimuli of the opposite and same functions.
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