Hayes, Thompson, & Hayes, 1989

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APA Citation: 

Hayes, L. J., Thompson, S., & Hayes, S. C. (1989). Stimulus equivalence and rule following. Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior, 52, 275-291.

Publication Topic: 
RFT: Empirical
Publication Type: 
stimulus equivalence, functional substitution, rule following, rule governance, linguistic meaning, novel behavior, humans

The present study examined the occurrence of a novel behavior pattern with respect to a novel configuration of stimuli enabled by the participation of those stimuli in equivalence classes. In Experiment 1, functional substitutabilities were established via equivalence between two independent sets of musical stimuli. Aspects of stimuli from the two sets were then compounded to produce novel stimulus configurations. Behavioral components enabled by each separate class combined to produce novel musical performances and accurate descriptions of them. In Experiment 2, the impact of experimenter-provided names for equivalence classes on the musical performances was investigated in naive subjects by establishing similar classes without experimenter-provided names. The results indicated few differences in the playing performances under these conditions. These experiments demonstrated a possible method for the analysis of rule following.

Authors describe results of two studies attempting to specify the relationship between verbal and nonverbal behavior in the context of rule following. Two stimulus equivalence relationships were trained and then subjects were tested for production of novel behavior. Novel behavior was produced in both the presence and absence of names provided for the equivalence classes.
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