The Psychological Record

, Volume 64, Issue 2, pp 311–319

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

  • John M. Hyland
  • Sinead Smyth
  • Denis P. O’Hora
  • Julian C. Leslie
Original Article

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 

References

  1. Andrews, G., & Halford, G. S. (2002). A cognitive complexity metric applied to cognitive development. Cognitive Psychology, 45, 153–219.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  2. Beaman, C. P., & Morton, J. (2000). The separate but related origins of the recency and the modality effect in free recal. Cognition, 77, 59–65.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Cerutti, D. T. (1989). Discrimination theory of rule-governed behavior. Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior, 51, 259–276.PubMedCentralCrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  4. Clark, E. (1971). On the acquisition of the meaning of before and after. Journal of Verbal Learning and Verbal Behavior, 10, 266–275.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Dermer, M. L., & Rogers, J. G. (1997). Schedule control over following instructions comprised of novel combinations of verbal stimuli. The Psychological Record, 47, 243–260.Google Scholar
  6. Ebbinghaus, H. (1964/1885). Memory: A Contribution to Experimental Psychology. New York: Dover.Google Scholar
  7. Hall, J. W., Sekuler, R., & Cushman, W. (1969). Effects of IAR occurrence during learning on response time during subsequent recignition. Journal of Experimental Psychology, 79, 39–42.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Hayes, S. C., & Hayes, L. J. (1989). The verbal action of the listener as a basis for rule- governance. In S. C. Hayes (Ed.), Rule-governed behavior: Cognition, contingencies, and instructional control (pp. 153–190). New York: Plenum.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Hayes, L. J., Thompson, S., & Hayes, S. C. (1989). Stimulus equivalence and rule following. Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior, 52, 275–291.PubMedCentralCrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  10. Hayes, S. C., Barnes-Holmes, D., & Roche, B. (2001). Relational frame theory: A post-Skinnerian account of human language and cognition. New York: Plenum Press.Google Scholar
  11. Hull, C. L. (1932). The goal gradient hypothesis and maze learning. Psychological Review, 39, 25–43.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Hyland, J. M., O’ Hora, D. P., Leslie, J. C., & Smyth, S. (2012). Sequential responding in accordance with temporal relational cues: a comparison of before and after. The Psychological Record, 62(3), 463–484.Google Scholar
  13. Microsoft. (1998). Visual Basic Version 6.Google Scholar
  14. O’Hora, D., Roche, B., Barnes-Holmes, D., & Smeets, P. M. (2002). Response latencies to multiple derived stimulus relations: testing two predictions of relational frame theory. The Psychological Record, 52, 51–75.Google Scholar
  15. O'Hora, D., Barnes-Holmes, D., Roche, B., & Smeets, P. (2004). Derived relational networks as novel instructions: a possible model of generative verbal contro. The Psychological Record, 54, 437–460.Google Scholar
  16. Skiljan, I. (2007). IrfanView. Retrieved from http://www.irfanview.com.
  17. Skinner, B. F. (1969). Contingencies of Reinforcement. New Jersey: Prentice-Hall.Google Scholar
  18. Steele, D. L., & Hayes, S. C. (1991). Stimulus equivalence and arbitrarily applicable relational responding. Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior, 56, 519–555.PubMedCentralCrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Association of Behavior Analysis International 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • John M. Hyland
    • 1
  • Sinead Smyth
    • 2
  • Denis P. O’Hora
    • 3
  • Julian C. Leslie
    • 4
  1. 1.Dublin Business SchoolDublin 2Ireland
  2. 2.Dublin City UniversityDublinIreland
  3. 3.National University of IrelandGalwayIreland
  4. 4.University of UlsterColeraineUK

Personalised recommendations