International Journal of Psychology and Psychological Therapy

Volume 17 Num. 1 - March 2017


The Formation of Equivalence Classes in Adults without Training in Negative Relations between Members of Different Classes

Volume 17 Num. 1 - March 2017 - Pages 108-118


Zaida Hinojo Abujas , Vicente Pérez Fernández , Andrés García García


Research on the formation and properties of equivalence classes has been relevant in the Experimental Analysis of Behaviour for more than thirty years. However, the nature of this phenomenon is still debated. A great amount of investigations analyse the necessary conditions for its appearance and also its development in other species. The most widespread training procedure is “Match-to-Sample”, a type of conditional discrimination task. These tasks require the participant to differentiate between reinforced stimulus relations (type S) and non-reinforced stimulus relations (type R). The approach to the study of these relations has been arguably flawed. The present work aims to develop a procedure that allows for their individual analysis, but still preserves the four term contingency of the operant conditional discrimination. Results suggests that type R relations need not be trained for the formation of equivalence classes as long as the conditionality is kept in the training.

Key words:

matching-to-sample, negative relations, equivalence classes, conditional control, symmetry

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