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Ninth International Conference; Paris, France; 2017

Event Details

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Symposium #115
CE Offered: BACB
Conceptual and Experimental Issues Within Equivalence Class Formation
Wednesday, November 15, 2017
4:30 PM–6:20 PM
Loft B, Niveau 3
Area: EAB/VRB; Domain: Basic Research
CE Instructor: Erik Arntzen, Ph.D.
Chair: Erik Arntzen (Oslo and Akershus University College)
Discussant: Julio C. De Rose (Universidade Federal de Sao Carlos)
Abstract: The purpose of the current symposium is to present some experimental and conceptual issues within equivalence class formation. The first paper by Arntzen and Nartey is an experiment on pre-training with pictorial stimuli. In one group, all stimuli were abstract shapes and in another group C stimuli were pictures with the remainder being abstract shapes. For the remaining five groups, however, various preliminary training involving the establishment of conditional relations between the abstract C stimuli and the familiar picture stimuli were done prior to the attempt to form equivalence classes. The main finding was that the effect of the pre-training groups that produced class enhancement to that of the PIC group, enhancement seems to be a function of increasing delay duration. The second paper (Steingrimsdottir & Arntzen) focus on tracing some of the variables that we have manipulated when exploring the possibility of using paper-and-pencil test instead of the computerized training and testing, as the former can be much quicker than the latter. As can be seen in Figure 2, some variables were more likely to lead to the establishment of the conditional discriminations during training. The third paper by Hansen and Arntzen employ a within-participant design. Fifteen participants were randomly presented for one of three different MTS training sequences, one part of the training sequence per day on three consecutive days, in order to establish five 3-member classes in a concurrent training format, using the MTO, OTM, and LS training structures. As can be seen in Figures 3, differences in sequential pattern of eye-fixation to both sample and comparison stimuli, as a function of both training structure and training structure sequence. Results have applied value, as effects of eye movement economy are discussed. The fourth paper by Fields and Arntzen discuss to maximize the speed of forming equivalence classes which is desirable in applied settings. This involves minimizing the trials and time needed to acquire all of the baselines that are the prerequisites for the classes, minimizing the trials needed to document the emergence of the classes and maximizing the proportion of participants who form the classes or yield. Finally, procedures that reliably produce the delayed emergence of equivalence classes an area that has been substantially under-explored.
Instruction Level: Advanced
Keyword(s): Conceptual, Conditional discrimination, Equivalence classes, experimental
Equivalence Class Formation and Pretraining With Pictorial Stimuli
ERIK ARNTZEN (Oslo and Akershus University College), Richard Nartey (Oslo and Akershus University College)
Abstract: Eighty-four participants in seven groups of 12 attempted to form three 5-member equivalence classes (A/B/C/D/E). In one group, all stimuli were abstract shapes and in another group C stimuli were pictures with the remainder being abstract shapes. For the remaining five groups, however, various preliminary training involving the establishment of conditional relations between the abstract C stimuli and the familiar picture stimuli were done prior to the attempt to form equivalence classes. Afterwards, they attempted to form equivalence classes using the same stimuli set as the ABS group. In the SMTS group, arbitrary conditional discriminations were formed between the abstract C and the familiar C-stimuli using simultaneous matching-to-sample while 0 s, 3 s, 6 s and 9 s delayed matching-to-sample procedures were used in the 0s, 3s, 6s and 9s groups. The main findings showed that 6.7 % of participants in the ABS formed classes while 83.3 % formed classes with C-PIC (see Figure 1). Thus, the formation of equivalence classes is enhanced with the inclusion of familiar pictures as middle nodes in a set of other meaningless stimuli. Furthermore, comparing the effect of the pre-training groups that produced class enhancement to that of the PIC group, enhancement seems to be a function of increasing delay duration.
Establishing Baseline Relations Without Programmed Reinforcement Contingencies
HANNA STEINUNN STEINGRIMSDOTTIR (Oslo and Akershus University College of Applied Sc), Erik Arntzen (Oslo and Akershus University College)
Abstract: When using computerized matching-to-sample each training trial starts with a presentation of a sample stimulus, followed by three (sometimes two) or more comparison stimuli. Upon a selection of one of the comparison stimuli, the participant is exposed to programmed consequences in accordance to experimenter defined correct/incorrect responding. During the course of the computerized training, the participants learn the experimenter defined conditional discriminations, and when responding in accordance to a set training criterion, the experimenter tests for whether the training has led to stimulus equivalence class formation. However, this training arrangement can be time consuming. The current presentation will trace some of the variables that we have manipulated when exploring the possibility of using paper-and-pencil test instead of the computerized training and testing, as the former can be much quicker than the latter. The results show some variables that were more likely to lead to the establishment of the conditional discriminations during training. However, the currently manipulated variables have not lead to stimulus-equivalence class formation. The results will be discussed along with providing information about future directions.
Eye-Fixation Pattern in Sequentially Arranged Matching-to-Sample Tasks
STEFFEN HANSEN (Oslo and Akershus University College of Applied Sciences), Erik Arntzen (Oslo and Akershus University College)
Abstract: Using eye-tracking technology to study eye movement and fixation pattern during conditional discrimination training and testing for stimulus equivalence class formation has contributed with additional knowledge, in the search of variables that adds to our increasing understanding of complex human behavior. Previous explorations on ocular observing response topography in matching-to-sample (MTS) tasks suggest systematic differences in observing response measures, such as duration, rate, and sequential fixation pattern (e.g., Hansen & Arntzen, 2013, October; Hansen & Arntzen, 2014, May; Hansen & Arntzen, 2016, May), as a function of training directionality (i.e., many-to-one, one-to-many, or linear series). In order to gather additional knowledge from our eye-tracking data, obtained in a counter balanced, sequential arrangement of the training structures many-to-one, one-to-many, and linear series (Hansen & Arntzen, 2016, May), the purpose of the following analysis was to expose the differential outcomes in fixation pattern. Introducing a within-participant design, fifteen participants were randomly presented for one of three different MTS training sequences, one part of the training sequence per day on three consecutive days, in order to establish five 3-member classes in a concurrent training format, using the MTO, OTM, and LS training structures. Data suggest differences in sequential pattern of eye-fixation to both sample and comparison stimuli, as a function of both training structure and training structure sequence. Results have applied value, as effects of eye movement economy are discussed.
CANCELED: Immediate Emergence: A Problem or a Goal?
LANNY FIELDS (Queens College, City University of New York), Erik Arntzen (Oslo and Akershus University College)
Abstract: In applied settings, it is desirable to maximize the speed of forming equivalence classes. This involves minimizing the trials and time needed to acquire all of the baselines that are the prerequisites for the classes, minimizing the trials needed to document the emergence of the classes � i.e., inducing the immediate emergence of equivalence classes - , and maximizing the proportion of participants who form the classes or yield. This presentation considers the issue of immediate emergence of equivalence classes. When it occurs, the only measure that is available is the presence or absence of the class. This binary or categorical variable produces a yield measure.�Because emergence is instantaneous, the processes involved in the emergence are not there to be measured. Yet, we have been criticized because yield and immediate emergence did not illuminate the process involved in class formation. Such a view, appears to reduce the import of the immediate emergence of equivalence classes, and distract attention from the discovery of variables that will produce immediate emergence. Process, however, can be studied by a) with procedures that reliably produce the delayed emergence of equivalence classes � an area that has been substantially under-explored -, b) by measuring latency, observing behaviors, and neural correlates evoked by trials during the immediate and delayed emergence of classes, and c) obtaining post class formation measured of equivalence-indicative performances evoked by all of the relations in an equivalence class.
 

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