Relational responding and conditional discrimination procedures: An apparent inconsistency and clarification

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APA Citation: 

Stewart, I. & McElwee, J. (2009). Relational responding and conditional discrimination procedures: An apparent inconsistency and clarification. The Behavior Analyst, 32, 309-317.

Publication Topic: 
Behavior Analysis: Conceptual
RFT: Conceptual
Publication Type: 
Article
Language: 
English
Abstract: 

This article discusses theoretical issues relating to an apparent terminological inconsistency between two recent studies involving relational responding. These studies employed a functionally similar procedure to establish contextual cues for arbitrarily applicable relational responding by employing a non-arbitrary relational responding procedure; however, one employed the term ‘non-arbitrary’ regarding this procedure, while the other used ‘arbitrary’. Both can be legitimately described as correct, but they use apparently contradictory descriptions because they focus on different aspects of the protocol; in one, the label is based on traditional conditional discrimination task nomenclature, while in the other, it is based on the type of relational responding being performed. The current article describes and then explains the issue. In doing so, it touches on an important topic concerning the relationship between relational responding and the conditional discrimination procedure.