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The Behavior Analyst

, Volume 26, Issue 2, pp 195–213 | Cite as

Stimulus control topography coherence theory: Foundations and extensions

  • William J. McIlvane
  • William V. Dube
Article

Abstract

Stimulus control topography refers to qualitative differences among members of a functional stimulus class. Stimulus control topography coherence refers to the degree of concordance between the stimulus properties specified as relevant by the individual arranging a reinforcement contingency (behavior analyst, experimenter, teacher, etc.) and the stimulus properties that come to control the behavior of the organism (experimental subject, student, etc.) that experiences those contingencies. This paper summarizes the rationale for analyses of discrimination learning outcomes in terms of stimulus control topography coherence and briefly reviews some of the foundational studies that led to this perspective. We also suggest directions for future research, including pursuit of conceptual and methodological challenges to a complete stimulus control topography coherence analysis of processes involved in discriminated and generalized operants.

Key words

stimulus control stimulus control topography discrimination generalization 

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Copyright information

© Association for Behavior Analysis International 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.E. K. Shriver Center for Mental RetardationUniversity of Massachusetts Medical SchoolUS

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