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Document Type

Article

Abstract

The present series of 4 experiments investigated the probability of responding in accord with equivalence in adult human participants as a function of increasing or decreasing delays in a many-to-one (MTO) or comparison-as-node and one-to-many (OTM) or sample-as-node conditional discrimination procedure. In Experiment 1, 12 participants started with simultaneous matching, followed by O-s, 2-s, and 4-s delayed matching, while the other 12 participants started with 4-s delayed matching, followed by the decreasing delays in a MTO training structure. Results suggested that the likelihood of responding in accord with equivalence is enhanced as a function of increasing delays during training, and also that starting with longer delays increases the probability of responding in accord with equivalence in simultaneous matching. In Experiment 2,6 participants started with simultaneous matching, followed by O-s, 2-s, and 4-s delayed matching in a OTM training structure. Results showed that 6 of 6 participants responded in accord with equivalence. In Experiment 3, 6 participants started with simultaneous matching, followed by O-s, 3-s, and 9-s delayed matching in a OTM training structure. Results showed that 6 of 6 participants responded in accord with equivalence. In Experiment 4, 6 participants started with simultaneous matching, followed by O-s and 3-s delayed matching with a restriction to engage in mediating behavior during testing. Results showed that none of the 6 participants responded in accord with equivalence during 3-s delay. It is argued that if delayed matching mquires (or evokes) precurrent behavior (responses that increase the effectiveness of a subsequent current behavior in obtaining a reinforcer), precurrent behavior may in turn facilitate responding in accord with equivalence. Higher reaction times durin~l initial testing may indicate precurrent problem-solving behavior prior to the selection of a comparison stimulus.

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