Association for Behavior Analysis International

The Association for Behavior Analysis International® (ABAI) is a nonprofit membership organization with the mission to contribute to the well-being of society by developing, enhancing, and supporting the growth and vitality of the science of behavior analysis through research, education, and practice.


11th International Conference; Dublin, Ireland; 2022

Event Details

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Paper Session #127
Advanced Concepts in Experimental Behavior Analysis
Saturday, September 3, 2022
3:00 PM–3:50 PM
Meeting Level 1; Liffey Meeting 1
Area: EAB
Chair: Martin Finn (Ghent University)
Emergent Untrained Combined Functions in Equivalence Classes
Domain: Applied Research
DEAN REID (Ulster University ), Michael Keenan (Ulster University)
Abstract: In Experiment 1, a paper-and-pencil protocol was used to establish two three-member equivalence classes (A1, B1, C1 & A2, B2, C2). Nonsense syllables were used for all stimuli except for B1 and C1 which were pictures of blue and green discs respectively. Participants then were presented with five boxes containing discs of five different colors, including blue and green. Participants were instructed to respond as they felt appropriate. Across all participants varying numbers of blue and green discs were placed on B1 and C1 respectively. Responding at A1 included combinations of blue and green discs by seven out of eight participants. These results were replicated after the classes were extended to include D and E stimuli. In Experiment 2, the overall procedure was repeated, however, there was a pretraining condition in which participants were instructed to select and place discs of their choosing on each of B1 and C1. In general, responding within both classes was consistent with results in Experiment 1. Two participants placed similar combinations of colored discs at A1, D1, and E1 but retained the single colors at B1 and C1. Results are discussed in the context of procedures used to investigate the emergence of novel behavior.

Establishing Contextual Control Over Transformation of Function

Domain: Basic Research
MARTIN FINN (Ghent University), Jan De Houwer (Ghent University), Matthias Raemaekers (Ghent University)

Research on stimulus-stimulus relations has demonstrated that the functions of a stimulus entering into such a relation may be altered according to the functions of the other stimulus and the kind of relation. Conceptual analyses hold that this phenomenon of derived transformations of functions occurs under two kinds of contextual control; Crels control the kind of relation, and Cfuncs control what function(s) transform from one stimulus to another according to the underlying relation. However, Cfunc control remains little studied. This paper presents the findings from two studies with verbally able adults that aimed to establish novel stimuli as Cfuncs that controlled derived transformations of functions. Two paradigms were employed – a car race paradigm, and a bubble-clicking task. In both cases, the properties of a sample stimulus were demonstrated, the relationship between the sample and choice alternatives were specified by novel Cfunc stimuli, and participants were tasked with selecting the correct alternative (i.e., the winning racecar, or the easiest task, respectively). Responding correctly on a consistent basis required learning the functions of the Cfunc stimuli. A subset of participants (~50%) successfully completed each study. The studies provide support for the notion that specific stimuli exert control over derived transformations of functions.




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