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42nd Annual Convention; Downtown Chicago, IL; 2016

Event Details

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Symposium #319
CE Offered: BACB
Stimulus Control and Equivalence Class Formation
Monday, May 30, 2016
4:00 PM–5:50 PM
Zurich AB, Swissotel
Area: EAB/VRB
CE Instructor: Erik Arntzen, Ph.D.
Chair: Erik Arntzen (Oslo and Akershus University College)
Discussant: Gerson Yukio Tomanari (Universidade de Sao Paulo)
Abstract: The present symposium focuses on some important findings with the area of emergent relations. The first paper by Arntzen, Granmo, and Fields investigated the concordance between the matching-to-sample (MTS) test and the sorting test. Participants in two different groups were exposed either an immediate sorting test after training of baseline relations, followed by the administration of a MTS test, and second sorting test or an immediate MTS test after training of the baseline relations, followed by a sorting test and a second MTS test. The main findings showed replication of earlier findings with respect to concordance between the tests, dissociation in some cases, and approached performances (see Table 1). The second paper by Mizael, de Rose, Silveira, and de Almeida is focusing on changing racial bias by transfer of functions in equivalence classes. Children served as participants and they were to matching tasks that would potentially establish equivalence relations between black faces and positive symbols, contrary to their pre-experimental bias. The main findings were that the participants showed class formation (see Figure 1). The third paper by Grisante and Tomanari present on experiment in which they studied the controlling relations for acquisition in stimulus observation sequence. They found that the different manipulations on stimuli presentation produced differences in controlling relations acquisition. (see Figure 2). The fourth paper by Vaidya and Stancato, asked about interactions between the development of analytic units and equivalence. The results from their study have implications for developing stimulus control in applied settings will be discussed. (see Figure 3).
Keyword(s): application, emergent relations, stimulus control, stimulus equivalence
Matching-to-Sample, Sorting and Equivalence Class Formation
ERIK ARNTZEN (Oslo and Akershus University College), Sjur Granmo (HiOF), Lanny Fields (Queens College, City University of New York)
Abstract: The purpose of the present experiment to further study the concordance between the matching-to-sample (MTS) test and the sorting test. Twenty college students were allocated to two different groups. In Group 1, the participants were exposed to an immediate sorting test after training of baseline relations, followed by the administration of a MTS test, and second sorting test. In Group 2, the participants were exposed to an immediate MTS test after training of the baseline relations, followed by a sorting test and a second MTS test. The results show systematic replication of earlier findings with respect to concordance between the tests, dissociation in some cases, and approached performances (i.e., one or two, of three possible, classes established). However, based on the experimental design of the present experiment, we are able to more effectively discuss the role of equivalence classes in relation to the sorting test outcome.
Changing Racial Bias by Transfer of Functions in Equivalence Classes
Táhcita Medrado Mizael (University of Sao Carlos), JULIO C. DE ROSE (Universidade Federal de Sao Carlos), Carolina Coury Silveira (University of Sao Carlos), João Henrique de Almeida (University of Sao Carlos)
Abstract: Several research groups have used the stimulus equivalence paradigm to investigate changes of attitudes or preferences toward socially relevant stimuli. We conducted a previous study with children using matching-to-sample training to establish equivalence relations between a positive symbol and faces of individuals of African descent (toward which children showed negative bias before the research). Only one of four children showed the intended classes, replicating results of other researchers showing that pre-experimental relations with socially loaded stimuli interfere with class formation. We will report a replication of this study that manipulated training parameters to increase the yield of equivalence classes comprising relations contrary to previous racial bias of the children. Thirteen children learned matching tasks that would potentially establish equivalence relations between black faces and positive symbols, contrary to their pre-experimental bias. All thirteen children showed class formation, and 9 of them maintained relations between black faces and positive symbols in a different and more stringent test. Figure 1 shows that children’s evaluations of the faces with the Self-Assessment Manikin (SAM) showed a pronounced negative bias toward black faces before training. After class formation, the difference between evaluations of black and white faces decreased and was no longer statistically significant. An application of the IRAP after class formation confirmed the absence of negative biases toward black faces after class formation. These results show that procedures based on equivalence and transfer of functions may contribute to educational programs designed to eliminate racism, a significant challenge for our increasingly multi-cultural and multi-racial societies.
Controlling Relations Acquisition in Children in a Procedure That Controls Stimuli Observation Sequence in Matching-to-Sample Tasks
PRISCILA CRESPILHO GRISANTE (Universidade Federal de Sao Carlos), Gerson Yukio Tomanari (Universidade de Sao Paulo)
Abstract: We verified controlling relations acquisition in a modified three-choice MTS procedure designed to promote responding under control of either Sample/S+ or Sample/S- relations. Black squares covered experimental stimuli during conditional discriminations training. Observing responses (OR) to a button below each black square produced a brief stimulus presentation. A software presented S+ as the first or the last stimulus displayed to participants in a certain proportion of trials (80%) to promote Sample/S+ (choosing S+ without observing other comparison) or Sample/S- (choosing the square after observe both S-) controlling relations, respectively. Three children attended to Sample/S+ condition (OR under FR3 schedule) and nine, to Sample/S- conditions (OR under FR3 or FR6). All Sample/S+ participants and seven of nine Samples/S- participants met learning criterion and presented equivalent class formation. The number of trained conditional relations simultaneously seems to affect establishment of Sample/S- relations. In general, different manipulations on stimuli presentation produced differences in controlling relations acquisition. An analysis of controlling relations acquisition suggests that Sample/S+ relations are mostly related to conditional discrimination acquisition while Sample/S- relations are related to the maintenance of conditional discriminative repertoire.
Further Explorations of Interactions Between the Development of Analytic Units and Equivalence Relations
Manish Vaidya (University of North Texas), STEFANIE S. STANCATO (University of North Texas)
Abstract: Sidmans (2000) theory of stimulus equivalence suggests that equivalence relations arise out of the contingencies that also develop analytic units. As such, the theory predicts an interaction between the development of analytic units and the development of equivalence relations. Vaidya & Brackney (2014) documented one such type of interaction for groups of stimuli, simple discriminative functions were acquired more rapidly when the groups were drawn from within the an equivalence class than when the groups were drawn from different equivalence classes. Thus, equivalence relations facilitated the development of analytic units. The current set of studies further explore these interactions. Can equivalence relations also retard the development of analytic units? Can existing analytic units (such as simple discriminations) influence the development of equivalence relations? This address will present data addressing each of these questions. The implications of these analyses for developing stimulus control in applied settings will be discussed.
 

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