This study asked whether a paper-and-pencil protocol can be used to study stimulus equivalence, and whether stimulus equivalence can emerge from conditional discriminations established by verbal instructions. The subjects were undergraduate university students. Of the 28 subjects who acquired the baseline relations defined by the written instructions, 50% responded to those conditional relations as equivalence relations. Another 20 subjects who were not instructed in these baseline relations were probed in the same way, to examine the possibility that the subjects might inadvertently achieve a consistent pattern of responding that could be scored as stimulus equivalence despite the nonestablishment of the baseline relations. None of those subjects showed an equivalence pattern. These results demonstrate that stimulus equivalence classes can emerge in conditional relations quickly established by written instructions, and that the paper-and-pencil protocol can be used to study equivalence relations.
Eikeseth, Svein; Rosales-Ruiz, Jesus; Duarte, Angela; and Baer, Donald M.
"The Quick Development of Equivalence Classes in a Paper-and-Pencil Format Through Written Instructions,"
The Psychological Record:
2, Article 7.
Available at: http://opensiuc.lib.siu.edu/tpr/vol47/iss2/7