Advertisement

The Psychological Record

, Volume 65, Issue 2, pp 375–399 | Cite as

Transformation of Thought Suppression Functions Via Same and Opposite Relations

  • Ian Stewart
  • Nic Hooper
  • Paul Walsh
  • Ronan O’Keefe
  • Rachel Joyce
  • Louise McHughEmail author
Original Article

Abstract

The aim of this study was to investigate transformation of thought suppression functions via ‘same’ and ‘opposite’ relations. In Experiment 1 participants were given training and testing with the aim of generating same and opposite relational responding in two five-member relational networks. They then had to suppress a target word from one of the two networks, while words appeared individually onscreen including the target, and words either in the same (target) or a different (nontarget) network. They could remove any word by pressing the spacebar. Findings showed more frequent and faster removal of the target than other words and of words in the target network than other words. Experiment 2, the aim of which was to include predominantly ‘opposite’ relations in the relational networks, produced a similar but weaker pattern. Experiment 3 replicated the pattern seen in Experiment 2, while showing that the relations designated as opposite produced a more conventional transformation of functions in a context other than thought suppression.

Keywords

Relational frame theory Same and opposite relations Transformation of functions Thought suppression Derived relational responding 

References

  1. Auguston, E. M., & Dougher, M. J. (1997). The transfer of avoidance evoking functions through stimulus equivalence classes. Journal of Behavioral Therapy and Experimental Psychiatry, 3, 181–191.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Barnes, D., Browne, M., Smeets, P. M., & Roche, B. (1995). A transfer of functions and a conditional transfer of functions through equivalence relations in three to six year old children. The Psychological Record, 45, 405–430.Google Scholar
  3. Dymond, S. & Roche, B. (2013). Advances in relational frame theory: Research & application. Context Press.Google Scholar
  4. Dymond, S. & Whelan, R. (2010). Derived relational responding: A comparison of matching to sample and the relational completion procedure. Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior, 94, 37–55.Google Scholar
  5. Dymond, S., Roche, B., Forsyth, J. P., Whelan, R., & Rhoden, J. (2007). Transformation of avoidance response functions in accordance with same and opposite relational frames. Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior, 88, 249–262.CrossRefPubMedCentralPubMedGoogle Scholar
  6. Fields, L., Verhave, T., & Fath, S. J. (1984). Stimulus equivalence and transitive associations: a methodological analysis. Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior, 42, 143–157.CrossRefPubMedCentralPubMedGoogle Scholar
  7. Greenway, D. E., Dougher, M. J., & Wulfert, E. (1996). Transfer of consequential functions via stimulus equivalence. Generalization to different testing conditions. Psychological Record, 46, 131–144.Google Scholar
  8. Hayes, S. C. (2004). Acceptance and commitment therapy, relational frame theory, and the third wave of behavioural and cognitive therapies. Behaviour Therapy, 35, 639–665.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Hayes, S. C., Strosahl, K. D., & Wilson, K. G. (1999). Acceptance and commitment therapy: An experiential approach to behavior change. New York: The Guilford Press.Google Scholar
  10. Hayes, S. C., Barnes-Holmes, D., & Roche, B. (Eds.). (2001). Relational Frame Theory: A Post-Skinnerian account of human language and cognition. New York: Plenum Press.Google Scholar
  11. Hester, R. K. (1995). Behavioral self-control training. In R. K. Hester & W. R. Miller (Eds.), Handbook of alcoholism treatment approaches: Effective alternatives (pp. 148–159). Needham Heights: Allyn & Bacon.Google Scholar
  12. Hooper, N., Saunders, J., & McHugh, L. (2010). The derived generalization of thought suppression. Learning & Behavior, 38(2), 160–168.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Lattal, K. A. (2012). Self in behavior analysis. In L. McHugh & I. Stewart (Eds.), The self and perspective taking. CA: Context Press.Google Scholar
  14. Najmi, S., & Wegner, D. M. (2008). Thought suppression and psychopathology. In A. Elliott (Ed.), Handbook of approach and avoidance motivation (pp. 447–459). Mahwah: Erlbaum.Google Scholar
  15. Rachman, S., & de Silva, P. (1978). Abnormal and normal obsessions. Behavior Research and Therapy, 16, 233–238.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Roche, B., & Barnes, D. (1997). A transformation of respondently conditioned functions in accordance with arbitrarily applicable relations. Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior, 67, 275–301.CrossRefPubMedCentralPubMedGoogle Scholar
  17. Wegner, D. M. (1989). White bears and other unwanted thoughts: Suppression, obsession, and the psychology of mental control. London: The Guildford Press.Google Scholar
  18. Wegner, D. M., Schneider, D. J., Carter, S. R., & White, T. L. (1987). Paradoxical effects of thought suppression. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 53(1), 5–13.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  19. Whelan, R., Cullinan, V., O’Donovan, A., & Valverde, M. R. (2005). Derived same and opposite relations produce association and mediated priming. International Journal of Psychology and Psychological Therapy, 5, 247–264. Google Scholar
  20. Wilson, K.G., Hayes, S.C., Gregg, J., & Zettle, R.D. (2001). Psychopathology and psychotherapy. In S.C. Hayes, D. Barnes-Holmes, and B. Roche (Eds.) Relational Frame Theory: A Post-Skinnerian Account of Human Language and Cognition. Oakland, CA: Context Press.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Association for Behavior Analysis International 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ian Stewart
    • 1
  • Nic Hooper
    • 2
  • Paul Walsh
    • 1
  • Ronan O’Keefe
    • 1
  • Rachel Joyce
    • 3
  • Louise McHugh
    • 3
    Email author
  1. 1.National University of IrelandGalwayIreland
  2. 2.University of the West of EnglandBristolUK
  3. 3.School of Psychology UCD College of Human Sciences, F220 Newman BuildingUniversity College DublinDublin 4Ireland

Personalised recommendations