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ERIC Number: EJ983477
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008-May
Pages: 23
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 49
ISSN: ISSN-0022-5002
Nodal Structure and the Partitioning of Equivalence Classes
Fields, Lanny; Watanabe-Rose, Mari
Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior, v89 n3 p359-381 May 2008
By definition, all of the stimuli in an equivalence class have to be functionally interchangeable with each other. The present experiment, however, demonstrated that this was not the case when using post-class-formation dual-option response transfer tests. With college students, two 4-node 6-member equivalence classes with nodal structures of A[right arrow]B[right arrow]C[right arrow]D[right arrow]E[right arrow]F were produced by training AB, BC, CD, DE, and EF. Then, unique responses were trained to the C and D stimuli in each class. The responses trained to C generalized to B and A, while the responses trained to D generalized to E and F. Thus, each 4-node 6-member equivalence class was bifurcated into two 3-member functional classes: A[right arrow]B[right arrow]C and D[right arrow]E[right arrow]F, with class membership precisely predicted by nodal structure. A final emergent relations test documented the intactness of the underlying 4-node 6-member equivalence classes. The coexistence of the interchangeability of stimuli in an equivalence class and the bifurcation of such a class in terms of nodal structure was explained in the following manner. The conditional discriminations that are used to establish a class also imposes a nodal structure on the stimuli in the class. Thus, the stimuli in the class acquire two sets of relational properties. If the format of a test trial allows only one response option per class, responding on those trials will be in accordance with class membership and will not express the effects of nodal distance. If the format of a test trial allows more than one response option per class, responding on those trials will be determined by the nodal structure of the class. Thus, the relational properties expressed by the stimuli in an equivalence class are determined by the discriminative function served by the format of a test trial. (Contains 8 figures and 1 table.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: New York