Smeets, Leader, & Barnes, 1997

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APA Citation: 

Smeets, P. M., Leader, G., & Barnes, D. (1997). Establishing stimulus classes with adults and children using a respondent training procedure: A follow-up study. The Psychological Record, 47, 285-308.

Publication Topic: 
RFT: Empirical
Publication Type: 
successive stimulus pairing respondent training procedure, formation of conditional discriminations & equivalence classes

This study examined the effects of a successive stimulus pairing procedure (respondent training) on formation of conditional discriminations and equivalence classes. Different training protocols (linear, many-to-one, one-to-many), and training and test arrangements (simultaneous, simple-to-complex) were used. A simultaneous protocol was used in Experiment 1. During training, adults were exposed to multiple random series of stimulus pairs. Stimuli of the same pair were presented one after the other (e.g., A1 arrow right B1, C1 arrow right B1, A2 arrow right B2, C2 arrow right B2, A3 arrow right B3, C3 arrow right B3). These series were followed by a match-to-sample test series involving symmetry probes (e.g., B-A, B-C) mixed with equivalence probes (A-C). Experiments 2 through 4 involved preschool children. Experiment 2 was a modified replication of Experiment 1 (Observing A arrow right B and C arrow right B. Testing A-B, C-B, A-C, and vice versa). Experiment 3 was the same except that a simple-to-complex protocol was used (e.g., training A arrow right B, testing A-B and B-A, trainingC arrow right B, testing B-C and C-B, and testing A-C and C-A). Experiment 4 was the same as Experiment 3 except that only symmetry and equivalence relations were tested (e.g., training A arrow right B, testing B-A, training C arrow right B, testing B-C, and testing C-A). Symmetry and equivalence were obtained most quickly with adults trained on simultaneous many-to- one protocols. With children, however, the simultaneous protocol was not effective. The simple-to-complex protocol produced much better results which were virtually the same for all training arrangements (linear, many-to-one, one-to-many).

This study examamined the effects of a successive pairing stimulus procedure (respondent training) on formation of conditional discriminations and equivalence classes.
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