4.36 Derived Stimulus Relations and Non-Human Animals

For example, it is much easier to demonstrate derived stimulus relations with language-able humans than with animals or humans without language1. It has not yet been reliably demonstrated with animals (despite several decades of trying)2,3,4.

A non-human animal wearing glasses reading a magazine.
“I may look smart, but honestly I’m just looking at the pictures.”

Derived Stimulus Relations:

Provide a model for understanding the symbolism and generativity of language

Are much easier to demonstrate with language-able humans than with non-human animals

  1. Devany, J.M., Hayes, S.C., and Nelson, R.O. (1986). Equivalence class formation in language-able and language-disabled childrenJournal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior, 46, 243-257.
  2. Dugdale, N., and Lowe, C. F. (2000). Testing for symmetry in the conditional discriminations of language trained chimpanzeesJournal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior, 73, 5-22.
  3. Galizio, M., & Bruce, K. E. (2018). Abstraction, multiple exemplar training and the search for derived stimulus relations in animals. Perspectives on Behavior Science, 41, 45-67.
  4. Hayes, S. C. (1989). Nonhumans have not yet shown stimulus equivalenceJournal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior, 51 (3), 385-392.
  5. Lionello-DeNolf, K.M. and Urcuioli, P.J. (2002). Stimulus control topographies and tests of symmetry in pigeonsJournal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior, 78, 467-495.
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