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.


34th Annual Convention; Chicago, IL; 2008

Event Details

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Symposium #357
International Symposium - Recent Developments within the Relational Responding Paradigm: False Memories, Cognitive Biases and Rebound Effect
Monday, May 26, 2008
9:00 AM–10:20 AM
Stevens 4
Area: VRB; Domain: Basic Research
Chair: Miguel Rodriguez-Valverde (Universidad de Jaen, Spain)
Abstract: The present symposium addresses three topics that have been widely examined under the cognitive psychology standards. In an attempt to better isolate the conditions promoting such phenomena, the behavioral-analytic approach, and the methodology that derives it derives from , has guided the development and discussion of findings across papers. In the first study, the authors hypothesize on the relation between the type of assessment and the type of contents that might explain the emergence of false memories by utilizing the misinformation effect paradigm. The second paper addresses false memories as well, but focusing in the role of relational responding in their emergence. The authors show that participants are very likely to falsely recall words participating in an equivalence class with the words contained in a list previously learned. The third paper presents a new approach to processing biases by incorporating the relational learning methodology to the study of the emergence and maintenance of attentional biases. Finally, in the last paper, the authors show that words that participate in a relation of coordination with suppressed contents may appear quite frequently in a free-recall task. The symposium, thus, comprises new applications of the relational learning approach to the study of topics of key relevance in the clinical context.
Analysis of the Misinformation Effect on False Memories.
FRANCISCO JOSE RUIZ-JIMENEZ (University of Almería, Spain), Rafael Moron (University of Almería, Spain), Carmen Luciano Soriano (University of Almería, Spain), Sonsoles Valdivia-Salas (University of Almería, Spain)
Abstract: The effect of providing false information during the evaluation of past events was first shown by Garry, Loftus, and Brown (1994), and Loftus (1997). The authors utilized the term misinformation effect to refer to the incorporation of false information to the memories a particular person has of the event in such a way manipulated. This study presents an analysis of the conditions under which misinformation effect occurs, hypothesizing the relations that could give rise of the phenomenon. Nine adults volunteered to participate. Each was exposed to three videos (portions extracted from three different movies), consecutively, showing people interacting with each other. After seeing each video, participants were asked about the content as it follows: after the first video, participants were asked open questions. After the second video, participants were presented with questions including accurate information. After the third video, participants were presented with questions that included false information. The memories about the videos were assessed in four occasions: right after watching the video, the day after, three days later, and six days later. Results are discussed in terms of the interaction between the type of evaluation and the contents to be remembered. Finally, the clinical implications are presented.
Derived Relational Intrusions Following Training.
PAUL GUINTHER (University of New Mexico), Michael J. Dougher (University of New Mexico)
Abstract: Contemporary behavior analytic research is making headway in characterizing memory phenomena that typically have been characterized by cognitive models. The current study extends this development by producing false memories through the training of equivalence classes. Participants were trained to acquire two equivalence classes consisting of everyday English words. Following training, participants were presented with a list of words from within one of the classes for a free recall test. Results showed that participants were more likely to falsely recall words participating in an equivalence class with the list words relative to words not participating in the class and relative to words that were concurrently paired with list words. The implications of these findings for broader issues in the false memory literature are discussed.
Relational Responding in the Emergence and Maintenance of Cognitive Biases.
SONSOLES VALDIVIA-SALAS (University of Almería, Spain), Carmen Luciano Soriano (University of Almería, Spain), John P. Forsyth (University at Albany, State University of New York)
Abstract: The emergence and maintenance of processing biases across anxiety and mood disorders has been mainly studied and interpreted within cognitive paradigms. Depending on the underlying theory, a number of tasks have been developed in order to isolate the process that supposedly occurs during selective attention, or selective memory, or the like. The present study aims at analyzing processing biases from a behavioral-analytic viewpoint, incorporating the basic methodology utilized within the relational learning paradigm in order to better understand the occurrence of processing biases. The basic purpose was analyzing the extent to which neutral arbitrary stimuli in a frame of coordination with threat-related stimuli would produce interference effects similar to those produced by the threat-related stimuli as measured by the dot-probe attention task. Results are connected with the basic literature on derived responding, and interpreted in terms of the direct and derived history that potentiates and de-potentiates the salience of certain stimuli.
Academic Self-Concept and Suppression of Self-Relevant Thoughts.
OLGA GUTIERREZ MARTINEZ (Universidad de Granada), Carmen Luciano Soriano (University Almerí­a, Spain), Pablo Santos (Universidad de Granada)
Abstract: The purpose of the present study was twofold. First, to compare the effect of suppression-based strategies (CONT condition) and defusion-based strategies (ACT condition) on managing negative academic self-relevant contents. Second, the study aimed to examine the paradoxical effects of thought suppression from the point of view of derived relational responding. Method included, first, participants were trained to form two, three-member equivalence classes (Class~1: A1, B1, C1; Class~2: A2, B2, C2). Then, they completed and received negative feedback on an analytical task from Class~1 (A1) that purportedly assessed academic success in college. Next, participants in the CONT condition were asked to suppress the negative feedback from the analytical task and their academic life in general while participants in the ACT condition were asked accepting the unwanted academic thoughts. Their ongoing academic-related thoughts were assessed pre-suppresion/defusion period and post-suppression/defusion period. Results and conclusions show that data revealed the rebound of negative academic contents following thought suppression efforts and that the suppression effect extends beyond directly suppressed task. Conceptual and clinical implications are discussed.



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