A functional-analytic model of analogy: a relational frame analysis.
Smeets, Paul M
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Stewart, Ian; Barnes-Holmes, Dermot; Roche, Bryan; Smeets, Paul M (2002). A functional-analytic model of analogy: a relational frame analysis.. Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior 78 (3), 375-396
The aim of this study was to explore a behavior-analytic model of analogical reasoning, defined as the discrimination of formal similarity via equivalence-equivalence responding. In Experiment 1, adult humans were trained and tested for the formation of four three-member equivalence relations: A1-B1-C1, A2-B2-C2, A3-B3-C3, and A4-B4-C4. The B and C stimuli were three-letter nonsense syllables, and the A stimulus was a colored shape. Subjects were then successfully tested for equivalence-equivalence responding (e.g., matching B1/C1 to B2/C2 rather than B3/C4). These tasks were designed such that equivalence-equivalence responding might allow subjects to discriminate a physical similarity between the relations involved. Some participants (color subjects) received only equivalence-equivalence tasks in which they might discriminate a color relation, whereas others (shape subjects) were given tasks in which they might discriminate a shape relation. A control group received both types of task. In a subsequent test for the discrimination of formal similarity, color subjects matched according to color, shape subjects matched according to shape, and the control group showed no consistent matching pattern. In Experiment 2, adult humans showed a transformation of the functions of a block-sorting task via this basic model of analogy. Empirical and conceptual issues related to these results are discussed.
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