Om verbal atferd og stimulusekvivalens

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Høgskolen i Oslo og Akershus

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Master i læring i komplekse systemer


Ever since B. F. Skinner published Verbal Behavior, his radical behavior analytic approach to language development has been considered controversial. Hence, Article 1 accounts for verbal behavior as either an operant or a structural phenomenon, and, in addition, discusses whether each line of approach complements each other. One of N. Chomsky’s objections to the behavioral approach is that it cannot explain how sentences that have not previously been reinforced can occur. Thus, the occurrence of such seemingly non-reinforced events is accounted for. Furthermore, the approaches differ in terms of how concept formation is learned. A behavioral approach suggests that stimuli in a certain class are interchangeable and, moreover, learned through interaction with the environment. The traditional approach attributes concept formation to the child itself. Following, article 2 addresses the role of naming in relation to stimulus equivalence class formation in children. Training was conducted in a matching-to-sample format, utilizing a many-to-one training structure (e.g., AC and BC). Furthermore, two stimulus sets were used, a set with abstract stimuli and a set with familiar nodes (i.e., stimuli that is linked to at least two other stimuli). Children who did not master AC-relations following 500 trials underwent training in either homogeneous or heterogeneous naming. Afterwards, another phase of conditional discrimination training was implemented, before re-testing for stimulus equivalence relations. The results show that homogenous naming of stimuli, in particular, can have a facilitating role in the formation of stimulus equivalence classes


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