Date of Award

1-1-2009

Degree Name

Master of Science

Department

Behavior Analysis and Therapy

First Advisor

Rehfeldt, Ruth Anne

Abstract

The present study attempted to merge classes of Islamic and Christian stimuli. Using a match-to-sample procedure, participants were trained on a series of conditional discriminations that resulted in the formation of one equivalence class containing Islamic stimuli and one class containing Christian stimuli. These classes shared two common members. After demonstrating equivalence, participants were tested for a merger of the two classes. If the classes fail to merge, participants viewed a video outlining the parallels between Islam and Christianity and were subsequently tested for a merger of classes again. For participants still failing to merge the classes, direct training was provided before a final test for a merger of classes was conducted. Accuracy and response latencies on tests for a merger of classes were examined to determine if a nodal distance effect is observed. Six participants merged the classes following conditional discrimination training. An additional five participants were exposed to video training and direct training after which four participants still failed to merge the classes.

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