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Understanding complex behavior: The transformation of stimulus functions

Abstract

The transformation of stimulus functions is said to occur when the functions of one stimulus alter or transform the functions of another stimulus in accordance with the derived relation between the two, without additional training. This effect has been demonstrated with a number of derived stimulus relations, behavioral functions, experimental preparations, and subject populations. The present paper reviews much of the existing research on the transformation of stimulus functions and outlines a number of important methodological and conceptual issues that warrant further attention. We conclude by advocating the adoption of the generic terminology of relational frame theory to describe both the derived transformation of stimulus functions and relational responding more generally.

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Correspondence to Simon Dymond or Ruth Anne Rehfeldt.

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Dymond, S., Rehfeldt, R.A. Understanding complex behavior: The transformation of stimulus functions. BEHAV ANALYST 23, 239–254 (2000). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF03392013

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Key words

  • transfer and transformation of stimulus functions
  • derived stimulus relations
  • stimulus equivalence
  • relational frame theory
  • adults and children