Position bias in matching-to-sample tasks: is counterbalancing stimulus positions really necessary?
Karen E. Gould, Paula Braga-Kenyon
Date of Award
Master of Science
Department or Academic Unit
Bouvé College of Health Sciences. Department of Counseling and Applied Educational Psychology
behavioral sciences, position bias, restricted stimulus control
Learning (Psychology of), Operant behavior
Behavior and Behavior Mechanisms | Psychology
Stimulus overselectivity, or restricted stimulus control, occurs when behavior comes under control of a restricted set of stimulus cues. Individuals with autism and other developmental disorders frequently display restricted stimulus control when, in the presence of multiple stimulus cues, behavior comes under control of only one component of a complex stimulus or other unintended variables such as stimulus position during visual discrimination tasks. In the present study, three different teaching procedures were used to teach relations between sample and comparison complex visual stimuli. Stimuli were counterbalanced across trials, across sessions, or not counterbalanced at all. All participants were able to learn the relations with relative ease, regardless of whether or not trials were counterbalanced. An error analysis indicated that participants showed a preference for one stimulus position over the others, but this preference did not appear to significantly impact learning. These findings suggest that in the context of a matching-to-sample task with typically developing adults, position bias as a result of a failure to counterbalance stimulus positions during training may not interfere with acquisition.
Stephanie M. Kopacek
Kopacek, Stephanie M., "Position bias in matching-to-sample tasks" (2010). Applied Behavioral Analysis Master's Theses. Paper 50. http://hdl.handle.net/2047/d20000988
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