The transfer of Crel contextual control (same, opposite, less than, more than) through equivalence relations

Printer-friendly version
APA Citation: 

Perez, W. F., Kovac, R., Nico, Y. C., Caro, D. M., Fidalgo, A. P., Linares, I., . . . Rose, J. C. (2017). The transfer of Crel contextual control (same, opposite, less than, more than) through equivalence relations. Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior. doi:10.1002/jeab.284

Publication Topic: 
RFT: Empirical
Publication Type: 
Relational Frame Theory (RFT); equivalence relations; contextual control; Crel; transfer of function; humans

According to Relational Frame Theory (RFT) Crel denotes a contextual stimulus that controls a particular type of relational response (sameness, opposition, comparative, temporal, hierarchical etc.) in a given situation. Previous studies suggest that contextual functions may be indirectly acquired via transfer of function. The present study investigated the transfer of Crel contextual control through equivalence relations. Experiment 1 evaluated the transfer of Crel contextual functions for relational responses based on sameness and opposition. Experiment 2 extended these findings by evaluating transfer of function using comparative Crel stimuli. Both experiments followed a similar sequence of phases. First, abstract forms were established as Crel stimuli via multiple exemplar training (Phase 1). The contextual cues were then applied to establish arbitrary relations among nonsense words and to test derived relations (Phase 2). After that, equivalence relations involving the original Crel stimuli and other abstract forms were trained and tested (Phase 3). Transfer of function was evaluated by replacing the directly established Crel stimuli with their equivalent stimuli in the former experimental tasks (Phases 1 and 2). Results from both experiments suggest that Crel contextual control may be extended via equivalence relations, allowing other arbitrarily related stimuli to indirectly acquire Crel functions and regulate behavior by evoking appropriate relational responses in the presence of both previously known and novel stimuli.