4.38 Derived Stimulus Relations and Language Development

And finally, the ability to derive stimulus relations first appears in infancy but develops gradually and at about the same time as language skills1. So derived stimulus relations are related to language in several important and very exciting ways. Well, they’re exciting if you’re a psychology or language nerd, anyway.

A baby in a red and white striped shirt is exploring Derived Stimulus Relations during Language Development.
“I may not be able to tell you that I pooed myself or derive that A=C yet, but just you wait!”

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

Are correlated with verbal IQ and ability

Develop gradually and at about the same time as language

  1. Lipkens, G., Hayes, S. C., and Hayes, L. J. (1993). Longitudinal study of derived stimulus relations in an infantJournal of Experimental Child Psychology, 56, 201-239.
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