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


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.


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


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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

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