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Document Type

Article

Abstract

In this study, 12 5-year-old normal functioning children were
exposed to a respondent-type training procedure and tested for
emergent conditional discriminations. During respondent-type
training, arbitrary stimuli were presented in pairs, one at a time, using
a table-top procedure. On a given trial, for example, the arbitrary
stimulus A 1 was presented on an observation card for 1 s, followed by
the arbitrary stimulus B1 presented on another observation card for 1
s (represented as A1~B1). Emergent conditional discriminations
were tested using a standard matching-to-sample procedure. On one
test trial, for example, B1 was presented as a sample, with A 1 and A2
as comparisons. Choosing A 1 (rather than A2) was defined as the
correct choice (represented as B1-A1), based on the previous
respondent-type training (A1~B1).ln Experiment 1 (linear condition),
subjects were trained and tested in the following sequence: train
A1~B1 , A2~B2, test B1-A1 , B2-A2; train B1~1, B2~C2, test C1-
B1, C2-B2, C1-A 1, C2-A2; train C1 ~D1 , C2~D2, test D1-B1 , D2-B2,
D1-A1, D2-A2. In Experiment 2 (one-to-many condition), subjects
were trained and tested in the following sequence: train B1~A1,
B2~A2 , test A1-B1 , A2-B2; train B1~C1, B2~C2, test C1-B1, C2-
B2, C1-A1 , C2-A2; train B1~D1, B2~D2, test D1-C1, D2-C2, D1-A1,
D2-A2. In Experiment 3 (many-to-one condition), subjects were
trained and tested in the following sequence: train A 1 ~B1, A2~B2,
test B1-A 1, B2-A2; train C1 ~B1, C2~B2, test B1-C1, B2-C2, C1-A 1,
C2-A2; train 01 ~B1, D2~B2, test D1-C1 , D2-C2, D1-A 1, D2-A2. The
study demonstrated that · respondent-type training is an effective
means of generating equivalence classes with young children.
Results also showed that it is possible to extend an equivalence class
using the respondent procedure without testing for the "mediating"
symmetry relations. The training protocols (linear, one-to-many, and
many-to-one) were found to be equally effective, although a possible
ceiling effect needs to be taken into account.

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