Association for Behavior Analysis International

The Association for Behavior Analysis International® (ABAI) is a nonprofit membership organization with the mission to contribute to the well-being of society by developing, enhancing, and supporting the growth and vitality of the science of behavior analysis through research, education, and practice.


38th Annual Convention; Seattle, WA; 2012

Event Details

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Symposium #448
CE Offered: BACB
Research in Relational Responding and Stimulus Functions
Tuesday, May 29, 2012
9:00 AM–10:20 AM
608 (Convention Center)
Area: EAB/VRB; Domain: Basic Research
Chair: Shimin Bao (University of Mississippi)
Discussant: Karen H. Griffee (Concord University)
CE Instructor: David E. Greenway, Ph.D.

Relational responding, including stimulus equivalence is intimately involved in complex human behavior such as language and social bias. The symposium presents three studies that examine various aspects of relational responding. The first study in this symposium examines the effects of using different types of input methods on participants Implicit Relational Assessment Procedure (IRAP) performance. The IRAP is increasingly attracting attention as a measure of beliefs and this study shows differences in the amount of biased behavior detected by the measure using different types of input devises. The second study in this symposium examines the use of contextual cues to influence priming in the transformation of stimulus functions. The study suggests the possible presence of an episodic priming effect on the transformation of stimulus functions. The final study in this symposium examines processes by which stimulus and functional stimulus classes may emerge. The study brought relating like and non-like classes under contextual control using different reinforcement.

Keyword(s): Equivalence, Relational Responding, RFT, Stimulus Functions
Using Assistive Technology in Behavioral Research: A Comparison of IRAP Input Methods
LAUREN FASSERO (University of Mississippi), Joi Tucker (Alcorn State University), Kate Kellum (University of Mississippi), Michael Bordieri (University of Mississippi), Kelly G. Wilson (University of Mississippi)
Abstract: The Implicit Relational Assessment Procedure measures the differences in a participant’s responses to two sets of stimuli. As the computer displays a pair of stimuli, participants are expected to choose from two responses within a very short time frame and with few errors. The task has traditionally required participants to respond using the “k” and “d” keys on a standard keyboard. The IRAP can be scored in multiple ways; however, most often scoring deletes trials with long response times and responses from people with high error rates. It may be that some of the delayed responses and errors are due to the computer task itself. The present study examined within subject differences in error rates, response latencies, and bias for participants using different input methods (i.e., a standard keyboard and a switch interface, or a standard keyboard and a simplified keyboard). Response patterns indicate that alternative methods of input should continue to be explored for the IRAP.

Using Contextual Cues to Influence the Role of Priming in the Transformation of Stimulus Functions

JACOB H. DAAR (University of South Florida), Timothy M. Weil (University of South Florida), Mark R. Dixon (Southern Illinois University)

Stimuli participating in relational frames have been shown to be sensitive to implicit procedures such as priming; however, the role of context in the priming of derived relational responses has not yet been established. In the present study, 11 participants were trained to respond to 4 3-member equivalence classes, consisting of word-like stimuli, under the contextual control of 2 background colors. Participants then completed a single-word lexical decision task in which prime/target pairs, consisting of related and unrelated pairs, were presented with and without contextual cues. Response latencies to identify related pairs were shorter than for pairs involving a neutral word. However, response latencies between related pairs and unrelated pairs, consisting only of previously trained stimuli, failed to meet statistically significant differentiation. Responses were also similar between contextually related and contextually unrelated word pairs. The results fail to indicate the presence of a contextually controlled semantic priming effect at a statistically significant level; however, these results do suggest the possible presence of an episodic priming effect. These results support previous findings that primed semantic and associative relations are similar with respect to response latencies to identify stimuli. Implications of implicit contextual controls on relational networks and future directions are discussed.


The Relationship Between Stimulus and Functional Equivalence

DAVID E. GREENWAY (University of Louisiana at Lafayette)

Stimulus (SE) and functional equivalence (FE) are intimately involved in complex human behavior such as language and concept formation. Although training and testing for these 2 types of stimulus classes are quite different, questions arise regarding whether they spring from the same or different processes. The present study looked at this by relating the 2 types of equivalence classes structurally with common elements of compound stimuli, and functionally with differential reinforcement. Two SE and 2 FE classes were established, which were related via elements of compound stimuli. The preference for relating like (e.g., SE to SE) versus nonlike (e.g., SE to FE) classes was assessed in nonreinforced tests. Then, relating like versus nonlike classes was brought under contextual control using differential reinforcement and assessed in non-reinforced tests. Implications for understanding underlying behavioral processes, language, and cognition are discussed.




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