Acta Colombiana de Psicología
Print version ISSN 0123-9155
PEREZ MANRIQUE, TIBERIO; DIAZ BARBOSA, JAVIER HERNAN and PULIDO VEGA, JUAN CAMILO. BEHAVIORAL CONTRAST IN RELATIONAL OPERANTS WITH HUMAN PARTICIPANTS. Act.Colom.Psicol. [online]. 2009, vol.12, n.2, pp. 115-126. ISSN 0123-9155.
Behavioral contrast is a phenomenon which characterizes multiple programs with common operants such as lever pressures or key pecks. It must be pointed out that behavioral contrast is widely documented in animals. Recently, different procedures have been developed which might be applied to the study of behavioral contrast with relational operants (i.e., conditional discrimination). The purpose of this research was to determine whether behavioral contrast takes place when working with this type of operants. Six high school students, who volunteered to participate and did not receive any other payment than the one arranged by the contingencies of the reinforcement schedule were exposed to a multiple program of 100 trials per component. After this procedure, a test consisting of derivative relations without reinforcement associated to each choice was carried out. When analyzing the reason for choice by component in Experiment 1, a positive contrast in the three participants was found and in the relational test, transference of preference was evidenced in participants 1 and 2. In Experiment 2, negative induction was found in the three participants and in the transference test, a lower degree of negative induction was evidenced. The conclusion drawn from this experiment is that change in the contingencies can be placed under contextual control in the manner of a relational framework.
Keywords : Behavioral contrast; relational operant; direct essay; choice; humans.