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    The interfering effect of emotional stimulus functions on stimulus equivalence class formation: implications for the understanding and treatment of anxiety


    Tyndall, Ian T. and Roche, Bryan and James, Jack E. (2009) The interfering effect of emotional stimulus functions on stimulus equivalence class formation: implications for the understanding and treatment of anxiety. European Journal of Behavior Analysis, 10 (2). pp. 215-234. ISSN 1502-1149

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    Abstract

    The present experiment examined the effects of respondently conditioned emotional functions on the formation of stimulus equivalence relations. Fifty-seven participants were exposed to a stimulus-pairing procedure that paired six nonsense syllables with aversive images, and a further six stimuli with neutral images. A second phase established different operant response functions for one aversive CS and one neutral CS. In Phase 3, 45 of the 57 participants demonstrated a transfer of the established operant response to stimuli sharing respondent functions, thereby demonstrating the formation of two functional classes. Using a between-subjects design, participants were then exposed to a conditional discrimination training and testing protocol designed to establish two three-member stimulus equivalence relations using either six aversive or six emotionally neutral CSs as stimuli. Participants required significantly more testing trials to form stimulus equivalence relations when all stimuli had emotionally aversive functions compared to neutral functions. Implications of this study for the treatment of clinical anxiety are considered.

    Item Type: Article
    Additional Information: Cite as: Ian T. Tyndall, Bryan Roche & Jack E. James (2009) The interfering effect of emotional stimulus functions on stimulus equivalence class formation: implications for the understanding and treatment of anxiety, European Journal of Behavior Analysis, 10:2, 215-234, DOI: 10.1080/15021149.2009.11434320
    Keywords: Functional Stimulus Classes; Anxiety; Stimulus Equivalence; Functional Equivalence; Humans;
    Academic Unit: Faculty of Science and Engineering > Psychology
    Item ID: 10648
    Identification Number: https://doi.org/10.1080/15021149.2009.11434320
    Depositing User: Dr. Bryan Roche
    Date Deposited: 26 Mar 2019 15:03
    Journal or Publication Title: European Journal of Behavior Analysis
    Publisher: Taylor & Francis
    Refereed: Yes
    URI:

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