The current article reports two experiments designed to examine the effects of creating competing approach and avoidance response functions for 2 stimuli that participate in the same derived stimulus relation. Experiment 1 involved establishing each of 2 distinct members (i.e., B1 and D1) of the same 1-node equivalence relation (A-B-C-D) as a discriminative stimulus for avoidance and approach responses, respectively. During a test phase, participants were presented with equivalence relation members that were of equal nodal distance from each of the discriminative stimuli (e.g., C1). Approach and avoidance responses during this probe phase were highly varied across participants but stable within participants. In general, approach and avoidance responses were observed with equal frequency during probe trials. Experiment 2 addressed several procedural artefacts, including the absence of response time data. Experiment 2 replicated the findings of Experiment 1. Elongated response latencies during probe trials in Experiment 2 support the idea that an approach–avoidance conflict was generated using the current laboratory preparation. These findings have implications for our understanding of the etiology of anxiety disorders.
Gannon, Steven; Roche, Bryan; Kanter, Jonathan W.; Forsyth, John P.; and Linehan, Conor
"A Derived Relations Analysis of Approach-Avoidance Conflict: Implications for the Behavioral Analysis of Human Anxiety,"
The Psychological Record: Vol. 61
, Article 5.
Available at: http://opensiuc.lib.siu.edu/tpr/vol61/iss2/5