7.31 Arbitrary Relational Responding

But we’ve learned from the research on derived stimulus relations that humans can also respond to relations among stimuli even when those relations are not based on the physical properties of the stimuli. In other words, humans can respond to arbitrary relations among stimuli. We say that these relations are arbitrary because they are based on social whim or convention, rather than the physical properties of the stimuli.

A diagram of derived equivalence relations.
Trained RelationsDerived Relations
A = B (given A, select B) B = A (given B, select A) 
A = C (given A, select C) C = A (given C, select A) 
B = C (given B, select C)
C = B (given B, select C)
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