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Psicologia: Reflexão e Crítica

Print version ISSN 0102-7972On-line version ISSN 1678-7153


SANTOS, José Guilherme Wady; PARACAMPO, Carla Cristina Paiva  and  ALBUQUERQUE, Luiz Carlos de. An analysis of the effects of history of behavioral variation on rule-following behavior. Psicol. Reflex. Crit. [online]. 2004, vol.17, n.3, pp.413-425. ISSN 0102-7972.

In a study concerning the sensitivity of instruction-following to signaled changes in contingencies, 14 children in the 8-to-9 age range were exposed to a matching-to-sample procedure. On this task, 1 of 2 comparison stimuli were touched in the presence of a contextual stimuli. There were 3 phases in the experiment. Those contingencies in effect in Phase 1 were reversed in Phase 2, and reestablished in Phase 3. The transition from one phase to another was cued by a signal. The participants were subjected to 2 conditions that differed in the number of instructions corresponding to the contingencies presented in Phase 1: Only 1 instruction was given in Condition UI, and 3 different instructions were given in Condition MI. One of the 6 participants in Condition UI and 4 of the 8 in Condition MI ceased following instructions. These results suggest that the presence of an interaction between history of behavioral variation produced by different instructions and signalling contingency shifts may render the instructed behavior susceptible to contingency shifts.

Keywords : Rule-governed behavior; verbal behavior; behavioral variation; matching-to-sample; children.

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