Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

The Transfer of Fear Elicitation and Avoidance Functions through Derived Relational Networks
by Williams, Nolan R., M.A., University of Louisiana at Lafayette, 2016, 74; 10163328
Abstract (Summary)

Avoidance is implicated as a factor in a variety of psychological problems. It has been shown that avoidance functions can transfer throughout relational networks. This study attempted to replicate previous findings of transfer of avoidance functions through relational networks. This study also attempted to establish a behavioral phenomenon called conditioned suppression. Two relational networks were established using matching to sample training. Following this training, one stimulus from one network was paired with gruesome photos and another stimulus from the second network was paired with photos of flowers, in a respondent conditioning procedure. Alternative operant behavior was measure before, during, and after the introduction the aversive stimuli – the gruesome photos. These phases served as measures of conditioned suppression. It was expected that the other stimuli in each relational network would acquire operant and respondent functions similar to those acquired by the stimulus from its relational network used in the respondent conditioning procedures. Ultimately, it was expected that each member of both relational networks would be established as discriminative stimuli for avoidance and non-avoidance behavior. This study failed to replicate the findings on transfer of function from previous studies. Orderly but unexpected results for the conditioned suppression phases were obtained. A number of methodological issues could have been responsible for these findings.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Sandoz, Emily K.
Commitee: Perkins, David R., Smith, Theodore S.
School: University of Louisiana at Lafayette
Department: Psychology
School Location: United States -- Louisiana
Source: MAI 56/01M(E), Masters Abstracts International
Subjects: Behavioral psychology, Cognitive psychology
Keywords: Avoidance, Conditioned suppression, Relational frame theory, Stimulus equivalence, Transfer of function
Publication Number: 10163328
ISBN: 9781369180206
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