Date of Graduation
Eberly College of Arts and Sciences
Philip N. Chase.
This dissertation investigated the merging of functional and equivalence classes produced by training responding to either simple or conditional discriminations. Experiment 1 targeted the acquisition of three three-member equivalence classes featuring class-specific reinforcers and three three-member functional classes each controlling the occurrence of a nonsense vocal response. Four female college students completed testing for the targeted stimulus classes. Two subjects demonstrated class-consistent emergent responding, but only one of them maintained class-consistent responding across repeated testing. This student withdrew from the experiment before class merging was arranged. Experiment 2 simplified and expedited the procedures for producing independent emergent classes. Four female college students demonstrated class-consistent responding for three three-member equivalence classes and three two-member functional classes. Classes merged successfully after subjects completed training relating each equivalence class to a functional class via one simple or conditional discrimination. Subsequently, each merged class was expanded by training one additional simple or conditional discrimination.
Lobo, Harold E., "Complex stimulus control in humans: Merging functional and equivalence classes" (2008). Graduate Theses, Dissertations, and Problem Reports. 2740.