Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Granting Department

Child and Family Studies

Major Professor

Timothy M. Weil


derived relational responding, discriminative stimulus function, relational frames, Relational Frame Theory, sameness


Relational Frame Theory research involves either of two protocols utilized to establish relational networks and functions for stimuli in those relational networks. Years of research indicate the most prevalent method involves first establishing a relational frame, conditioning one of the stimuli to acquire a particular function, and then providing a test to see if the function trained to one of the stimuli in the network transferred through the relational network to other stimuli. The less common method involves first training a particular function for a stimulus, entering that stimulus in a relational network with at least two other stimuli, and then subsequently providing a test to see if the function transferred. Hayes, Kohlenberg, and Hayes (1991) hypothesized that not only do both procedures work, but there is also no differentiation between the two with regards to transformation of stimulus function. Although both protocols have been used in the RFT literature, a direct comparison has never been made. The current study directly examines that comparison in a within-subject analysis to determine if there may be differentiated results in transformation of stimulus function based on the protocol used. A within-subjects analysis indicates that subsequent probes of transformation of stimulus function probes yielded similar levels of correct responding in both training protocols, and thus supporting the hypothesis put forth by Hayes and colleagues (1991).