Restoring Americans’ Nonequivalent Frames of Terror: An Application of Relational Frame Theory

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APA Citation: 

Dixon, M. R., Zlomke, K. M., & Rehfeldt, R. A. (2006). Restoring Americans’ Nonequivalent Frames of Terror: An Application of Relational Frame Theory. The Behavior Analyst Today, 7(3), 275-289.

Publication Topic: 
RFT: Conceptual
RFT: Empirical
Publication Type: 
Article
Language: 
English
Keyword(s): 
terrorism, Middle Eastern, prejudice, stereotypes, matching-to-sample, Relational Frame Theory.
Abstract: 

The present paper describes two studies that attempted to form equivalence classes between terrorist and American images using a matching-to-sample preparation. Experiment 1 first exposed American participants to training conditions in which they were reinforced for matching terrorist to American stimuli and American to terrorist stimuli. Participants were then tested for derived relations between these same American and terrorist stimuli. Additional training was also conducted whereby American and terrorist images were matched with stimuli depicting the words “Peace”, “Unity”, and “Resolve.” Experiment 2 replicated the first experiment and also included additional training and testing conditions to examine any relative effects on participants’ ability to form equivalence classes. Results of the two studies suggest that most participants failed to form equivalence classes between the two types of images, yet the degree to which they did increased following the training that paired the terrorist and American images to the words “Peace”, “Unity”, and “Resolve.” Implications of these data from a Relational Frame Theory perspective are presented.

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