Establishing arbitrarily applicable relations of same and opposite with the relational completion procedure: Selection-based feedback

Dymond, Simon and Ng, Tsz Ching and Whelan, Robert
The Psychological Record, 63(1): 111, 2013

Research suggests that the relational completion procedure (RCP) is effective for studying derived relations of same and opposite. Previously, procedural parameters, such as the presence or absence of a confirmatory response requirement, were found to have a facilitative effect on the number of training trials to criterion and overall arbitrary test pass rate (i.e., yield). These experiments report on the manipulation of additional potentially important parameters–the presence or absence of selection-based feedback, 4 vs. 8 trial types and of a linked nonarbitrary and arbitrary training phase–across both the RCP and matching-to-sample (MTS) protocols with either 3 or 5 comparisons. During selection-based feedback, after the production of the confirmatory response, the sample, contextual cue, and selected comparison were presented along with corrective feedback. During the linked nonarbitrary-arbitrary phase, in the presence of the sample stimulus and the same and opposite contextual cues, respectively, selections of a nonarbitrary comparison stimulus at either end of a specified physical dimension were reinforced. Findings indicated a trend for improved performance with the inclusion of selection-based feedback and the linked nonarbitrary-arbitrary phase. There was a significant difference in yield between the RCP and MTS conditions (84% vs. 56%, respectively). The implications of the findings for contemporary research on derived relational responding are discussed.