Establishing equivalence classes in children using familiar and abstract stimuli and many-to-one and one-to-many training structures


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European Journal of Behavior Analysis;12(1)


Norwegian Association for Behavior Analysis

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In the present experiment, the effects of responding in accordance with stimulus equivalence were tested using one-to-many (OTM) and many-to-one (MTO) training structures and familiar and abstract stimuli. Sixteen typically developing children, ages 8 to 9 years, were trained and tested for formation of two 5-member equivalence classes in four conditions: OTM–familiar, OTM–abstract, MTO–familiar, and MTO–abstract. In the the familiar conditions, the nodes were familiar stimuli while the other stimuli were abstract stimuli. In the abstract condition, all stimuli were abstract stimuli. The results showed that the conditions with the familiar stimulus sets were more effective in formation of equivalence classes than the conditions with abstract stimuli. Furthermore, the results showed small discrepancies between the training structures in the formation of equivalence classes, and OTM was more effective than MTO in the first condition. In the conditional discrimination training, OTM was faster in establishing the conditional relations than MTO. The results suggest the use of familiar stimuli to establish equivalence relations and the use of OTM for effective establishment of conditional relations.


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