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Psicologia: Teoria e Pesquisa

versão impressa ISSN 0102-3772


GOMES, Camila Graciella Santos; VARELLA, André Augusto Borges  e  SOUZA, Deisy das Graças de. Stimulus equivalence and autism: a review of empirical studies. Psic.: Teor. e Pesq. [online]. 2010, vol.26, n.4, pp.729-737. ISSN 0102-3772.

The model of stimulus equivalence offers an operational specification of symbolic behavior, thus orienting teaching strategies and allowing for objective measures of new behavioral repertoires. Autistic persons, often characterized by presenting, among other disabilities, severe language deficits, could benefit from strategies based on this model. This paper reviews the few empirical studies conducted with autistic participants, based on the stimulus equivalence paradigm. Some participants were successful, while others failed. The failures seem to be more related to difficulties in learning arbitrary relations rather than to the emergence of novel relations itself, after the baseline has been established. The challenge for the field is to develop procedures that are truly effective in establishing arbitrary relations and, consequently, the formation of equivalence classes.

Palavras-chave : symbolic behavior; stimulus equivalence; relational learning; arbitrary relations; autism.

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