Stimulus equivalence, relational frame theory and transfer of avoidance stimulus functions
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Article 1: The present study is a review of journal articles that addresses the topics of stimulus equivalence or relational frame theory, using the search terms “Transfer of Functions” and “Transformation of Functions” in the title, abstract, or both. The journal articles had to be published in English language peer-reviewed journals between 1985 and 2018 to be included in the analysis. A total of 350 publications were identified through searches of two electronic databases, PsycINFO and PubPsych. After applying the inclusion criteria to the results, 31 articles met the inclusion criteria, and 319 publications were excluded from the analysis. The included articles were sourced from eight different journals. The articles were categorized as either “Empirical papers” or “Non-Empirical papers”. “Non-Empirical papers” were further subcategorized into “Reviews” and “Other Non-Empirical papers”. All articles were analyzed in order to identify keywords, and “Empirical papers” were additional analyzed to identify number of studies, population parameters, and the experimental setting. Article 2: This study examines (1) the transfer of conditioned avoidance functions through equivalence classes, (2) extinction of these functions using verbal prompts, and (3) if there is consistency between participants verbal estimations and avoidance responses. Thirty participants were randomly assigned into two groups (A and B). Participants in Group A received baseline conditional discrimination in front of a classical conditioning phase where stimulus B1 was paired with an aversive tone. Participants in Group B received classical conditioning in front of the baseline conditional discrimination. All participants had to respond in accordance with equivalence to continue further with the experiment. Twenty-four participants responded in accordance with equivalence and completed the experiment. The main results from the training showed that participants in Group A used fewer trials to complete the baseline discrimination training than participants in Group B. The general results from the experiment show that (1) a proportion of the participants in both groups demonstrated transfer of conditioned avoidance stimulus functions through equivalence classes, (2) extinction of these avoidance functions with verbal prompts were achievable for the majority of the participants, (3) it was partially consistency between the verbal estimations given by the participants and their avoidance behavior.
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