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Document Type

Article

Abstract

The present study attempted to produce generalized break
equivalence responding with 5 adult subjects. A Generalized Break
Equivalence Pattern (GBEP) involved responding in accordance with
symmetry and transitivity but not with equivalence in new situations.
That is, having been trained in two conditional discriminations, A 1-
B1/A2-B2 and B1-C1IB2-C2, subjects should produce the following
derived relations; B1-A1 , B2-A2, C1-B1, C2-B2, A1-C1 , A2-C2, C1-
A2, C2-A 1. To achieve this goal, in Phase 1 subjects were exposed
to explicit training in broken symmetry (A 1-B1 , A2-B2, B1-A2, B2-A 1)
with 3 different stimulus sets (4 stimuli per set). They were then
trained in symmetry (A1-B1 , A2-B2, B1-A1 , B2-A2) with 3 new sets
(4 stimuli per set). In Phase 2, subjects were exposed to Train
Standard Equivalence (i.e., training in the conditional discriminations
A1-B1 , A2-B2, B1-C1 , B2-C2). Then they received Train Break
Equivalence (i.e., training in the conditional discriminations B1-A1 ,
B2-A2, C1-B1 , C2-B2 [symmetry]; A 1-C1, A2-C2 [transitivity], C1-A2,
C2-A 1 [break equivalence]) and were finally exposed to a nofeedback
condition with the relations trained during the Train Break
Equivalence. This sequence was repeated with three different
stimulus sets (6 stimuli per set). Finally, in Phase 3 subjects were
tested for the generalization of the BEP with a new stimulus set (6
stimuli per set). In this phase subjects were exposed to Train
Standard Equivalence and immediately after to a Generalization Test
(GT). Three subjects showed a clear GBEp, 1 subject produced a
very close result to the GBEP with errors on the transitive relation,
and 1 subject failed to show the predicted pattern. These data
provide some support for the suggestion that derived relational
responding is an overarching or generalized operant class.

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