Verbally competent volunteers, 6 male and 6 female, served as participants. They were exposed to two experimental procedures. Initially two nonsense syllables (A2 and C1) were paired with positive adjectives and two nonsense syllables (A1 and C2) were paired with negative adjectives, using a procedure analogous to classical conditioning. Following this they were exposed to a stimulus equivalence training procedure. They were taught to match three nonsense syllables A1, A2, and A3 to three novel nonsense syllables B1, B2, and B3 respectively, and subsequently to match B1, B2, and B3 to three new nonsense syllables C1, C2, and C3. Testing revealed that the equivalence class involving entirely neutral stimuli (A3, B3, and C3) emerged for most participants but that the classes involving A and C stimuli that had acquired opposite meanings from the first procedure did not emerge.
Peoples, Michelle; Tierney, Kevin J.; Bracken, Maeve; and McKay, Cara
"Prior Learning and Equivalence Class Formation,"
The Psychological Record: Vol. 48
, Article 7.
Available at: http://opensiuc.lib.siu.edu/tpr/vol48/iss1/7