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    Stimulus equivalence and nonarbitrary relations

    Stewart, Ian and Barnes-Holmes, Dermot and Roche, Bryan and Smeets, Paul M. (2002) Stimulus equivalence and nonarbitrary relations. The Psychological record, 52 (1). pp. 77-88. ISSN 0033-2933

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    This study investigated the effect of conflicting nonarbitrary (color) relations on equivalence responding. Three groups of 8 subjects were trained and tested for the formation of three 3- member equivalence classes using nonsense syllables as stimuli. Each subject received two separate exposures. For the No-Color group all stimuli in both training and testing phases were in black lettering. For the All-Color group, all stimuli were in color. Thus, training effectively involved learning to ignore color and, as predicted, during testing color had little or no effect upon performance, in that there was no significant difference in levels of equivalence responding between the no-color and all-color groups. For the Color-Test group, training and testing stimuli were in black and color lettering respectively. During testing, the sample was always differently colored from the “equivalent” comparison, but was the same color as one of the nonequivalent comparisons. These subjects had no history of reinforcement for ignoring color, and thus a possible conflict between arbitrary and nonarbitrary relational control was produced in this condition. Results showed that for this third group, levels of equivalence responding were significantly lower than for either of the other two groups. Furthermore, levels of responding in accordance with color matching were significantly higher for the color-test group than for the all-color group. These data are consistent with Relational Frame Theory.

    Item Type: Article
    Additional Information: Cite as: Stewart, I., Barnes-Holmes, D., Roche, B. et al. Psychol Rec (2002) 52: 77.
    Keywords: Stimulus equivalence; nonarbitrary relations; Relational Frame Theory;
    Academic Unit: Faculty of Science and Engineering > Psychology
    Item ID: 10671
    Identification Number:
    Depositing User: Dr. Bryan Roche
    Date Deposited: 02 Apr 2019 14:41
    Journal or Publication Title: The Psychological record
    Publisher: Springer Verlag
    Refereed: Yes
    Use Licence: This item is available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike Licence (CC BY-NC-SA). Details of this licence are available here

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