Thirty-two subjects completed 2 stimulus equivalence tasks using a matching-to-sample paradigm. One task involved direct reinforcement of conditional discriminations designed to produce derived relations between self-referring stimuli (e.g., me, myself, I) and positive evaluation words (e.g., whole, desirable, perfect). The other task was designed to produce derived relations between selfreferring stimuli and negative evaluation wordls (e.g., unworthy, flawed, inadequate). Performance on each task was recorded via response latency and percent correct. Prior to completion of the equivalence tasks, subjects completed 2 self-report measures: the Outcome Ouestionnaire-45 (00-45) and the Rosenberg SelfEsteem Scale (RSE). Subjects were divided into groups based on their 00-45 score (high or low distress) and FISE score (high or low self-esteem). Significant differences in percent correct were found between both the 00-45 groups and the RSE groups. Subjects who reported high distress and a negative sense of self made significantly more errors on the tests for equivalence for the task that required matching self-referential stimuli with positive evaluation words.
Merwin, Rhonda M. and Wilson, Kelly G.
"Preliminary Findings on the Effects of Self-Referring and Evaluative Stimuli on Stimulus Equivalence Class Formation,"
The Psychological Record: Vol. 55
, Article 5.
Available at: http://opensiuc.lib.siu.edu/tpr/vol55/iss4/5