The Psychological Record

, Volume 64, Issue 2, pp 311–319

The Effect of Before and After Instructions on the Speed of Sequential Responding

Authors

    • Dublin Business School
  • Sinead Smyth
    • Dublin City University
  • Denis P. O’Hora
    • National University of Ireland
  • Julian C. Leslie
    • University of Ulster
Original Article

DOI: 10.1007/s40732-014-0026-y

Cite this article as:
Hyland, J.M., Smyth, S., O’Hora, D.P. et al. Psychol Rec (2014) 64: 311. doi:10.1007/s40732-014-0026-y

Abstract

Order judgements are slower and less accurate when reversed. That is, when participants see two events in a sequence (e.g., circle …square), they are quicker to report ‘Before’ statements (e.g., “Circle before Square”) than ‘After’ statements (“Square after Circle”). The current study sought to determine whether a reversal effect will also occur when participants are instructed to produce a sequence of responses. Twenty participants were trained to criterion on simple ‘Before’ and ‘After’ instructions that specified sequences of two responses (e.g., “Circle before Square”). In a subsequent test, participants produced instructed sequences (e.g., circle … square) more quickly and more reliably when instructed to choose one stimulus before another than when they were requested to choose one stimulus after another. The implications of these findings for current theories of relational responding are considered.

Keywords

Before After Sequential responding Temporal instructions Relational responding Mutual entailment

Copyright information

© Association of Behavior Analysis International 2014