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This study evaluated the effects of manipulating the type and order of presentation of transference tests. 28 university students divided in 4 groups were exposed to a second order matching to sample procedure. The conditions of exposition were: ascending difficulty order of the tests, descending order, and two randomly assigned orders. The results are discussed in terms of percentages of effectiveness; additionally, the time of response is proposed as an alternative measure, sensitive to the level of difficulty of this kind of tasks. The findings showed heterogeneity in the velocity of acquisition of the conditional discriminations during the training phase even though the conditions of the task were equal for all the subjects. The exposition to the ascending and descending order seemed to affect negatively the effective adjustment of the behavior, whereas one of the randomly assigned sequences seemed to be the best condition. The order of exposition to the transference tests in interaction with a history of early acquisition in the training phase, served to understand the findings of this study which are discussed beginning with the necessity of a systematical study of the factors implied in the transference tests. The proposal is to evaluate the validity of the different kind of transference tests and the convenience of some of them to be use in the investigation of the phenomena related to the effective and variable behavior.
Effects on Performance During a Matching-to-Sample Task Due to the Type and Order of Exposition to the Transference Tests12
Camilo Hurtado P.3; Miguel Robayo B. Universidad Nacional de Colombia & Wilson López-López Universidad Católica de Colombia
Psychology program thesis directed by professor Telmo E. Peña-Correal PhD. Universidad Nacional de Colombia – Bogotá, Colombia. May, 2004. 2 Acknowledgments: Claudia Hurtado C. for her comments and help during the translation of this poster. 3 Contact information: Camilo Hurtado P. e-mail: email@example.com
We consider someone’s behavior has been transferred, when we observe that the behavior has adjusted to new situations which have some type of relation with the original circumstances where the learning occurred. This past circumstances could be more or less similar to the new ones; accordingly, when situations of learning and transference are more similar, it will be more likely that the individual shows effective behavior. The new conditions which have certain grade of similarity or difference with the learning ones, are considered probe situations or transference tests, especially when no feedback is given to the individual. Usually in the context of investigations concerning intelligent and rule governed behavior, some sort of transference tests are used in matching to sample tasks
assuming that they differ in the level of behavior complexity they evaluate, and for this reason, the difficulty level of adjustment they have. It is a widespread assumption that the transference tests are confirmatory tools for the learning of any kind of tasks, and possibly that is why during the matching tasks the same group of transference tests has been used and they have been presented in the same manner (ascending level of difficulty). A considerable amount of research has been done within a program which systematically manipulates characteristics of problem situations (acquisition and transference situations) searching for those aspects which allow the adjustment of the individual’s behavior to an affectivity criterion (For further reading see: Tena, Hickman Moreno, Cepeda y Larios, 2001). The problem situations are represented in matching to
sample tasks and it is assumed that variations in the transference tests serve to evaluate different behavioral aspects, including the 5 levels of behavioral organization proposed by Ribes & López (1985). Depending on the type of situational manipulation, the transference tests could be instance changes (intramodal), modality changes as size and color (extramodal), relational changes such as passing from identity and similarity relations to difference (extrarelational) or changes in the dimension such as passing from relations between geometric figures to semantic relations between words (extradimensional). Modal and relational variations had been more commonly used in the research program, moreover they had been theoretically considered easiest tests, whereas the extradimensional ones had been rarely
used and are considered of more complexity due to their verbal implications.
Research Questions What is the effect of manipulating the type and order of exposition to the transference tests upon the performances of individuals in a second order matching to sample task? Which type of test and order of exposition improves the probability of effective behavior?
Subjetcs: 28 university students, 16-29 years old. 16 women and 6 men. Instrument: For the purposes of this study a second order matching to sample task was built. Geometric figures with formal relations among them (similarity, identity, difference) were used for training phase and intramodal, extramodal and extrarelational tests.
appeared in the screen. They used a mouse to choose the stimuli which appeared in the screen, and a keyboard for typing their personal information. During training phase they received constant feedback about their wrong or correct choices. During al the transference phase there was no feedback. Design Groups 1 2 3 4 Identity and Difference relations Training Transference tests sequences IMT EMT ERT EDT EDT EMT ERT ERT ERT IMT EMT IMT EDT IMT EDT EMT
Words were used for the extradimensional tests, in this case the relations between them was semantic (synonymy, antonymy and identity). The arrangements were presented in PC using software programmed in Macromedia Authorware 6; this software recorded percentages of correct responses, latencies, verbal reports and type of error. Procedure: Subjects were seated in front a PC attending to the instructions and stimuli which
IMT=Intramodal Transference Test EMT=Extramodal Transference Test ERT=Extrarelational Transference Test EDT=Extradimensional Transference Test.
Training phase Constant Feedback. During this phase valid relations were identity and difference and the valid matching modalities were color and shape. 4 blocks of 24 trials, 12 trials for each relation. See figure below for an arrangement example and description.
Contextual clues: in this example the valid relation between stimuli
was difference because coffee star and fuchsia pentagons were different in shape and color (valid matching modalities). In other trials the relation was identity.
Comparison Stimuli: in this line of stimuli, the arrangement consisted in one figure similar in shape or color to the sample, one different in color and form and one identical to the sample. Subjects had to choose one of them.
Correct choice: depending in the relation indicated by the contextual stimuli and the present sample, individuals chose one of the comparison stimuli in the PC screen using the mouse. In this example the valid relation was difference so it was expected they chose “circle” because it was different in color and shape to the sample.
Transference tests No feedback. Blocks of 24 trials for each one of the 4 transference test, 12 of the trials were for each valid relation. The valid relations for intramodal and extramodal tests were the same used in training phase (identity and difference), intramodal trials were of the same kind for training (color and shape were the valid matching relations). Valid matching modalities in extramodal arrangements changed to size and color. For extrarelational blocks identity and similarity relations were used and the valid modalities were the same of training phase (color-shape). Synonymy and antonymy were the valid relations for extradimensional tests. See figures below for examples of each type of arrangement. Intramodal Transference Extramodal Transference Extrarelational Tranference Extradimensional Transference “Ugly” “identity” “difference” “similarity” “Pretty”
“antonymy” “Up” “Down” “Above” “Up”
90 % of effectiveness was considered as acceptance criteria for any training or transference block.
Training phase Although all the experimental groups had the same conditions during the acquisition phase (same stimuli arrangements, same order of presentation and number of trials…) the results showed heterogeneity in the number of blocks needed to accomplish the 90% criteria. In fact, some participants only needed 2 blocks to be effective in this phase whereas others needed 3 or 4 blocks. In the figure below the performances of the participants for each group are showed.
Performances during the training phase for each group. Each bar represents one subject and B1, B2, B3, B4 = Block 1, block, 2, block 3 and block 4 of training.
100 90 % of effectiveness % of effectiveness 80 70 60 50 40 30 20 10 0 B1 B2 Training blocks B3 B4 100 90 80 70 60 50 40 30 20 10 0 B1 B2 Training blocks B3
100 90 % of effectiveness 80 70 60 50 40 30 20 10 0 B1 B2 Training blocks B3 B4
% of effectiveness 100 90 80 70 60 50 40 30 20 10 0 B1 B2 Training blocks B3
Transference tests 1. Intramodal test (IMT) was the situation with the higher number of participants who accomplished the criteria in all groups. In other words, it was the “easiest” test. This findings 2. Extradimensional (EDT) situation was the most “difficult” change, especially for those groups exposed to it at the end of the session (groups 1 and 3). Contrary to the expected, 4/7 participants had a good performance in this test when it appeared at the beginning of the session (see group 2). 3. When IMT, EMT and ERT appeared immediately after the training phase, almost all the participants reached the effectiveness criteria of 90%; this
means there wasn’t apparent difference in their difficulty demands. 4. Average latency times for each kind of test showed and ascendant order IMT - ERT - EMT – EDT, very similar to the ascendant difficulty order in terms of % of effectiveness. 5. Those subjects who showed effective performances in the similarity relation during the ERT had effective performances in the analog synonymy relation regardless of the order of exposition to them. 6. All participants exposed to the identity relation during the transference phase showed effective behavior. In other words, it was the “easiest” or “obvious” transferred relation.
Performances during the transference phase for each group. Each group had a different order of exposition to the 4 types of transference test (IMT, EMT, ERT, EDT). Red line shows the 90% effectiveness criteria. Each bar represents a subject.
Group 1: ascendant order of difficulty
100 90 80 S2 S3 S4 S5 S6 S7 % of Effectiveness % of effectiveness 70 60 50 40 30 20 10 0 IMT EMT Transference tests ERT EDT S1 100 90 80 70 60 50 40 30 20 10 0 EDT ERT
Group 2: descendant order of difficulty
S1 S2 S3 S4 S5 S6 S7
Group 3: randomly sorted order of difficulty
100 90 80 % of effectiveness % of Effectiveness 70 60 50 40 30 20 10 0 EMT ERT Transference tests IMT EDT S1 S2 S3 S4 S5 S6 S7 100 90 80 70 60 50 40 30 20 10 0 TER IMT
Group 4: randomly sorted order of difficulty
S1 S2 S3 S4 S5 S6 S7
EDT Transference tests
1. It is important to keep studying transference tests, especially those ones more used in past years. It is necessary to look over the validity of these tests. 2. Matching to sample tasks are powerful tools but they need to be enriched exploring new variables, for example more complex cases of the Varela and Quintana matrix (1995) reacted with extradimensional changes such as numeric or semantic. 3. Even though during the transference tests there’s no feedback, the results of this study showed systematic variability among them. These findings probably mean that the transference tasks influence the behavior 5. 4.
adjustment when they are configured in some manner and even though the individuals are not receiving any kind of information about their effectiveness. It is important to explore other measures more sensitive to the variations over the effective behavior, for example the latency time or the cumulative effectiveness percentage. We need to understand why some individuals during the training phase showed faster acquisitions. differences dispositional It due is to important gender, type to of explore relations occupation,
implied, etc, which have not been of research interests before.
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