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Effects of different training histories in the development of select and reject controlling relations and in the emergence of conditional relations in humans

Grant number: 12/08192-3
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Post-Doctorate
Effective date (Start): July 01, 2013
Effective date (End): June 30, 2016
Field of knowledge:Humanities - Psychology - Experimental Psychology
Principal researcher:Gerson Aparecido Yukio Tomanari
Grantee:Priscila Crespilho Grisante
Home Institution: Instituto de Psicologia (IP). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil


Symbolic behavior had been extensively studied through matching-to-sample (MTS) procedures. First, a certain set of conditional discriminations is taught and then, the substitutability (or equivalence) of stimuli is verified by the emergence of untaught stimulus relations. The literature indicates that the establishment of select controlling relations (i.e., choices under the control of sample/S+) is a prerequisite for the formation of the programmed equivalence classes. In contrast, reject controlling relations (i.e., choices under the control of sample/S-), if predominated, can produce classes of stimuli different from the programmed ones. Despite efforts to identify select and reject controlling relations, the development of these controls has not been addressed in the literature. Therefore, this project aims: 1) to clarify the conditions that produce choices under reject controlling relations, 2) to describe the development of select and reject controlling relations from two distinct training histories and 3) to determine possible influences of select and reject controlling relations in the establishment of emergent relations. Three experiments will employ a modified three-choice MTS task to generate responding under either select or reject controlling relations. In order to accomplish that, stimuli will be displayed contingent to observing responses, and the probability of presenting correct (S+) and the incorrect (S-) comparisons will be experimentally manipulated. Adults and children will serve as participants. The results may contribute to the development of teaching technologies of symbolic behavior.

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