Stimulus equivalence in young children
Paula Braga-Kenyon, Karen E. Gould
Date of Award
Master of Applied Behavior Analysis
Department or Academic Unit
Bouvé College of Health Sciences. Department of Counseling and Applied Educational Psychology.
Equivalence, Match-to-sample, Multiple exemplar, Symmetry, Transitivity
Pattern perception, Neuropsychology, Children - Language
Child Psychology | Developmental Psychology
The current study investigated if children at early stages of language development promptly demonstrate the emergence of stimulus equivalence. Procedures were similar to the ones described by Schusterman and Kastak (1993) which found evidence of equivalence in sea lions. Two typically developed children, ages 3 to 5, participated in this experiment. Eighteen visual stimuli were divided in six sets containing three stimuli each (A, B, and C). All stimuli were previously unknown to the participants. Participants were directly trained to match stimuli A to stimuli B and stimuli B to stimuli C using one of the sets. After showing inconsistent results in transitivity and symmetry tests, participants were trained to perform the matching tasks corresponding to these properties. Once mastery criteria were met, a new set of stimuli was introduced and the same training and testing sequence was implemented. Results indicate that the presence of basic language and naming skills may not be sufficient for the prompt emergence of stimulus equivalence, and that a history of performing such tasks under training conditions may contribute to the phenomenon.
Amber Lynn Mandler
Mandler, Amber Lynn, "The development of stimulus equivalence in young children" (2010). Applied Behavioral Analysis Master's Theses. Paper 21. http://hdl.handle.net/2047/d20000241
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