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Procedures other than matching-to-sample may be used to
establish the conditional discriminations necessary to establish
equivalence classes. One procedure, stimulus-stimulus pairing,
may have particular relevance in accounts of the stimulus relations
involved in language. Stimulus-stimulus pairing is a type of paired
associate learning that uses a simultaneous presentation of two or
more stimuli without explicit reinforcement of responding. This
study explored the possibility that equivalent stimulus classes can
be formed by simultaneous stimulus-stimulus pairings. Pairs of
stimuli were presented according to three classes of stimuli
derived by the experimenter. Matching-to-sample tests for
combined symmetry and transitivity between these classes
revealed that the stimuli were responded to as equivalent. Control
conditions revealed , however, that classes formed only when
stimulus pairing was alternated with matching-to-sample testing in
which the contingencies for test performance were described to
the subjects. The results are discussed in terms of how test
conditions restrict and select responding to produce equivalence.