In three experiments designed to analyze the emergence of untaught operants with a spoken response in normally developing 5- to 6-year-old children, verbal operants with the names of countries, cities, and parks were used as stimuli or responses—intraverbals. Children learned Country-City intraverbals and City-Park intraverbals. The authors then probed the emergence of novel intraverbals without reinforcement, which resulted from combining the stimuli and responses of the taught intraverbals. Experiment 1 demonstrated that the novel intraverbals might emerge without reinforcement. Experiment 2 showed that learning more basic operants facilitates the emergence of the novel intraverbals. Experiment 3 provided a within-participant replication and demonstrated that relations with novel stimuli of the same type emerge at a quicker pace as children learn novel sets. These results showed basic processes involved in complex verbal behavior, such as reasoning.
Pérez-González, Luis Antonio; Herszlikowicz, Katia; and Williams, Gladys
"Stimulus Relations Analysis and the Emergence of Novel Intraverbals,"
The Psychological Record: Vol. 58
, Article 7.
Available at: http://opensiuc.lib.siu.edu/tpr/vol58/iss1/7