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The interfering effect of emotional stimulus functions on stimulus equivalence class formation: implications for the understanding and treatment of anxiety
Tyndall, Ian T.; Roche, Bryan; James, Jack E.
The present experiment examined the effects of respondently conditioned emotional functions on the formation of stimulus equivalence relations. Fifty-seven participants were exposed to a stimulus-pairing procedure that paired six nonsense syllables with aversive images, and a further six stimuli with neutral images. A second phase established different operant response functions for one aversive CS and one neutral CS. In Phase 3, 45 of the 57 participants demonstrated a transfer of the established operant response to stimuli sharing respondent functions, thereby demonstrating the formation of two functional classes. Using a between-subjects design, participants were then exposed to a conditional discrimination training and testing protocol designed to establish two three-member stimulus equivalence relations using either six aversive or six emotionally neutral CSs as stimuli. Participants required significantly more testing trials to form stimulus equivalence relations when all stimuli had emotionally aversive functions compared to neutral functions. Implications of this study for the treatment of clinical anxiety are considered.
Keyword(s): Functional Stimulus Classes; Anxiety; Stimulus Equivalence; Functional Equivalence; Humans
Publication Date:
2009
Type: Journal article
Peer-Reviewed: Yes
Institution: Maynooth University
Citation(s): Tyndall, Ian T. and Roche, Bryan and James, Jack E. (2009) The interfering effect of emotional stimulus functions on stimulus equivalence class formation: implications for the understanding and treatment of anxiety. European Journal of Behavior Analysis, 10 (2). pp. 215-234. ISSN 1502-1149
Publisher(s): Taylor & Francis
File Format(s): other
Related Link(s): http://mural.maynoothuniversity.ie/10648/1/BR-Interfering-2009.pdf
First Indexed: 2020-04-02 06:14:01 Last Updated: 2020-04-02 06:14:01