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.


50th Annual Convention; Philadelphia, PA; 2024

Event Details

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Paper Session #280
Evaluation Procedures for Establishing Equivalence Class Relations
Sunday, May 26, 2024
12:00 PM–12:50 PM
Convention Center, 200 Level, 201 C
Area: EAB
Chair: Jonathan Gray Todd (Ulster University)
The Respondent-Type Matching-to-Sample Procedure: A Comparison of One-to-Many and Linear Procedure for Establishing Equivalence Responding
Domain: Basic Research
JONATHAN GRAY TODD (Ulster University), Michael Keenan (Ulster University), Stephen Gallagher (Ulster University)
Abstract: Stimulus equivalence research is dominated by operant conditioning procedures which require the active responding of a participant to establish relations between arbitrary stimuli. In comparison, there has been relatively little research using respondent-type procedures, which only require the participant to view relations that appear on screen. This presentation describes two experiments using a Respondent-Type Matching-to-Sample procedure to examine the effect of the One-to-Many (OTM) training procedure and the Linear procedure on equivalence class formation. This procedure involves presenting the sample stimulus, followed by multiple comparison stimuli. Boxes are then displayed around the sample and related comparison to highlight the relation between the two stimuli. No responses were required from the participant. Each training block was a followed by probe trials to confirm mastery of the baseline relations. Responses were required at this point; however feedback was not presented. Participants were university students recruited both online and face-to-face, with all the participants of the OTM study having completed the experiment online. The OTM procedure was extremely effective in generating equivalence responding, however the linear procedure was not. These findings are discussed in the context of previous research comparing the two training procedures, as well as the effectiveness of previous respondent procedures.
Discrimination of Highly Similar Stimuli as Members of Different Equivalence Classes
Domain: Basic Research
VANESSA AYRES-PEREIRA (Federal University of Sao Carlos), Deisy De Souza (Universidade Federal de São Carlos), Erik Arntzen (Oslo Metropolitan University)
Abstract: Learning to discriminate between physically similar stimuli as members of different classes can be relevant in certain situations. This study investigated effective methods to display two pairs of quasi-identical stimuli, either as samples and/or comparisons, during the training of baseline conditional discriminations. The goal was to enable participants to form three 3-member equivalence classes and discriminate similar stimuli as members of distinct equivalence classes. Eighteen adults underwent arbitrary relations (AB/AC) training. A multiple-probe design assessed maintenance and emergence of stimulus relations. Participants were assigned to one of six training conditions across three experiments. Conditions 1, 2, and 5 presented quasi-identical stimuli successively as samples during training. Condition 3 presented quasi-identical stimuli successively as comparisons, while Condition 4 presented quasi-identical stimuli simultaneously as comparisons. Condition 6 presented each pair of quasi-identical stimuli simultaneously as a sample and a comparison. Only Condition 4 resulted in successful equivalence class formation for all participants. Conditions 3 and 6 failed to establish equivalence classes, while Conditions 1, 2, and 5 did not yield baseline learning. These results have implications for discussions on the acquisition of simple discriminations required in training simultaneous conditional discriminations via matching-to-samples tasks.



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