An instance of spurious equivalence relations
- 3 Downloads
Four normal children learned conditional discriminations that had upper-case or lower-case Greek letters as comparison stimuli, and dictated letter names as samples. Experimental stimuli were three pairs of letters; within each pair, an upper- and a lower-case letter were conditionally related to the same dictated sample. Four control stimuli, also upper- and lower-case letters, were each conditionally related to a different dictated sample. Conditional-discrimination tests for equivalence used the upper- and lower-case letters both as samples and comparisons. Untaught conditional relations between the upper- and lower-case members of each experimental stimulus pair were expected to emerge on the basis of their previously established relations to a common sample. The emergence of conditional relations between control stimuli, however, would have suggested an artifact. In test trials with the experimental stimuli as samples and comparisons, new conditional discriminations emerged as expected with all four children. With two of the children, however, consistent discriminations also emerged between control stimuli. Evidence suggested that uncontrolled features of the program for teaching the children the baseline conditional discriminations might have been responsible for the emergence of untaught conditional relations.
Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.
- Barnes, T. (1990). Equivalence without symmetry? A stimulus artifact. Unpublished M.A. thesis, Northeastern University, Boston.Google Scholar
- Carrigan, P. F. (1986). Conditional discrimination and transitive relations: A theoretical and experimental analysis. Unpublished Ph.D. dissertation, Northeastern University, Boston.Google Scholar
- Constantine, B. (1981). An experimental analysis of stimulus control in simple conditional discriminations. Unpublished Ph.D. dissertation, Northeastern University, Boston.Google Scholar
- Dugdale, N., & Lowe, C. F. (1990). Naming and stimulus equivalence. In D. E. Blackman & H. Lejeune (Eds.), Behaviour analysis in theory and practice: Contributions and controversies (pp. 115–138). Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.Google Scholar
- Johnson, C., & Sidman, M. (1990, May). Stimulus classes established by sample-and-S- conditioninal-discrimination training. Poster presented at the 16th annual meeting of the Association for Behavior Analysis, Nashville, TN.Google Scholar
- Lowe, C. F. (1986, May). The role of verbal behavior in the emergence of equivalence relations. Paper presented at the 12th annual meeting of the Association for Behavior Analysis, Milwaukee, WI.Google Scholar
- Sidman, M. (1986). Functional analysis of emergent verbal classes. In T. Thompson & M. D. Zeiler (Eds.), Analysis and integration of behavioral units (pp. 213–245). Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.Google Scholar
- Sidman, M. (1987). Two choices are not enough. Behavior Analysis, 22, 11–18.Google Scholar
- Sidman, M. (in press). Equivalence relations: Some basic considerations. In L.J. Hayes & S.C. Hayes (Eds.), Dialogues on verbal behavior: Proceedings of the third International Institute on Verbal Relations. Reno, NV: Context Press.Google Scholar