Smyth, Barnes-Holmes, & Forsyth, 2006

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APA Citation: 

Smyth, S., Barnes-Holmes, D., & Forsyth, J. P. (2006). A derived transfer of simple discrimination and self-reported arousal functions in spider fearful and non-spider fearful participants. Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior, 85(2), 223-246.

Publication Topic: 
RFT: Empirical
Publication Type: 
simple discrimination, derived tranfer of functions, spider fearful, stimlus pairing observation procedure

The authors, researchers at the National University of Ireland, conducted two experiments investigated tile derived transfer of functions through equivalence relations established using a stimulus pairing observation procedure. In Experiment 1, participants were trained on a simple discrimination (A1+/A2-) and then a stimulus pairing observation procedure was used to establish 4 stimulus pairings (A1-B1, A2-B2, B1-C1, B2-C2). Subsequently, a transfer of the simple discrimination functions through equivalence relations was observed (e.g., C1+/C2-). These procedures were modified in Experiment 2, which demonstrated that spider-fearful wad non-spider-fearful participants show differing levels of a transfer of self-reported arousal functions for stimuli used in equivalence relations with video-based material depicting scenes with spiders. The results demonstrate that the stimulus pairing observation procedure provides a viable alternative to matching-to-sample, and also offer tentative support for a derived-relations model of the acquisition of anxiety responses in at least one sub-clinical population.

This article used the stimulus paring observation procedure to demonstrate transformation of arousal functions, and provided further evidence that anxiety responses can participate in arbitrary relational frames and produce problematic clinical outcomes.
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