Assessing Derived Conditional Relations Under Reinforcement Conditions
- 64 Downloads
The present study assessed derived conditional relations using a within-subject sequence of training and testing with reinforcement. In Experiment 1, four undergraduates were trained on two independent arbitrary-matching tasks (A–B and C–D). Next, they were given reinforced symmetry trials for half of the baseline stimuli (B–A and D–C). To show that accuracy on symmetry trials was not a result of rapid learning due to reinforcement; novel relations were reinforced among the remaining baseline stimuli (B–C and D–A), as an experimental control. All participants acquired symmetrical relations faster than the novel, control relations. Experiment 2 assessed transitivity using a similar testing strategy. All but one participant acquired transitive relations faster than the novel, control relations. These results conform to those arising from traditional unreinforced tests and suggest the potential of the proposed strategy to study populations in which the emergence of conditional relations seems to be negatively affected by the suspension of reinforcement during tests.
KeywordsConditional discrimination Symmetry Transitivity Arbitrary matching-to-sample task Button press Humans
This research was supported by Doctoral Grant (CNPq 142544/2005-1) to the first author, and Researcher Grant (CNPq 302640/2007-0) and Research Support (CNPq, Edital Universal, 471953/2004-0) to the second author. Both authors are members of the National Institute of Science and Technology on Behavior, Cognition and Teaching, supported by FAPESP (Grant #08/57705-8) and CNPq (Grant #573972/2008-7). There is no conflict of interest to declare concerning both authors. The authors express their acknowledgments to Alex Wahl, Paula Braga-Kenyon, and Shawn Kenyon for their comments on an earlier version of this manuscript. Correspondence must be sent to either Saulo M. Velasco, e-mail: email@example.com or Gerson Y. Tomanari, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Brino, A. L. F., Galvão, O. F., & Barros, R. S. (2009). Successive identity matching to sample tests without reinforcement in Cebus apella. Ciência & Cognição, 14, 2–11.Google Scholar
- D’Amato, M. R., Salmon, D. P., Loukas, E., & Tomie, A. (1985). Symmetry and transitivity of conditional relations in monkeys (Cebus apella) and Pigeons (Columbia livia). Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior, 44, 35–47. doi: 10.1901/jeab.1985.44-35.PubMedCentralCrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
- Dube, W. V., & Hiris, E. J. (1999). MTS software documentation. Waltham: E. K. Shriver Center.Google Scholar
- Galvão, O. F., Calcagno, S., & Sidman, M. (1992). Testing for emergent performances in extinction. Experimental Analysis of Human Behavior Bulletin, 10, 18–20.Google Scholar
- Galvão, O. F., Barros, R. S., Santos, J. R., Brino, A. L. F., Brandão, S., Lavratti, C. M., et al. (2005). Extent and limits of the matching concept in Cebus apella: A matter of experimental control? The Psychological Record, 55, 219–232.Google Scholar
- Schusterman, R. J., & Kastak, D. (1993). A California see lion (Zlophus californianus) is capable of forming equivalence relations. The Psychological Record, 43, 823–839.Google Scholar
- Sidman, M. (1994). Equivalence relations and behavior: A research story. Boston: Authors Cooperative Pub.Google Scholar
- Sidman, M., Rauzin, R., Lazar, R., Cunninghan, S., Tailby, W., & Carrigan, P. (1982). A search for symmetry in the conditional discrimination of rhesus monkeys, baboons and children. Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior, 37, 23–44. doi: 10.1901/jeab.1982.37-23.PubMedCentralCrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar