NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
ERIC Number: EJ862928
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Jul
Pages: 28
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 49
ISSN: ISSN-0022-5002
Equivalence Class Formation in a Trace Stimulus Pairing Two-Response Format: Effects of Response Labels and Prior Programmed Transitivity Induction
Fields, Lanny; Doran, Erica; Marroquin, Michael
Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior, v92 n1 p57-84 Jul 2009
Three experiments identified factors that did and did not enhance the formation of two-node four-member equivalence classes when training and testing were conducted with trials presented in a trace stimulus pairing two-response (SP2R) format. All trials contained two separately presented stimuli. Half of the trials, called within-class trials, contained stimuli from the same class while the other half, called cross class trials, contained stimuli from different classes. On within class trials, making a "YES" response was correct and making a "NO" response was wrong. On cross class trials, making a "NO" response was correct and making a "YES" response was wrong. In Experiment 1, similar intermediate percentages of participants (about 50%) formed classes, regardless of whether the responses were labeled "YES" and "NO" or "SAME" and "DIFF". Response labeling thus did not influence class formation. Regardless of response labels, failures of class formation were primarily due to failure of class-indicative responding produced by within-class transitivity probes. In Experiment 2, only 50% of participants formed classes without prior training, as in Experiment 1, but 100% of participants formed equivalence classes after the establishment of a generalized transitivity repertoire by use of a programmed transitivity induction protocol. Experiment 3 examined two components of the programmed transitivity induction protocol and found that the exclusion of AC trials had no effect on the percentage of participants who formed equivalence classes, while presenting the stimulus sets in randomized order interfered with equivalence class formation. A further analysis found that a number of stimulus control topographies differentiated between individuals who did and did not form equivalence classes. In general, then, these experiments demonstrate that equivalence classes can be formed reliably when training and testing are conducted in an SP2R format, supporting the view that equivalence class formation can account for the development of conceptual categories in natural settings. (Contains 4 tables and 4 figures.)
Society for the Experimental Analysis of Behavior. Available from: Indiana University Department of Psychology. Bloomington, IN 47405-1301. Tel: 812-334-0395; FAX: 812-855-4691; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A