Exploring a Training IRAP as a single participant context for analyzing reversed derived relations and persistent rule‐following

Colin Harte, Dermot Barnes‐holmes, Murilo Moreira, Joao H. Almeida, Denise Passarelli, Julio C. Rose

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8 Citations (Scopus)
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Rule-governed behavior and derived stimulus relations have always shared strong conceptual links within behavior analysis. However, experimental analysis linking the two domains remains limited. The current study consisted of three experiments that aimed to continue to bridge this experimental gap. The first experiment sought to establish the extent to which a training version of the implicit relational assessment procedure (IRAP) could be used to establish and successfully reverse experimentally established derived relations. The results suggested that the Training IRAP could successfully produce derived reversals. Experiments 2 and 3 explored the extent to which reversed derived relations would control rule-governed behavior when the contingencies for rule-following competed with the rule. In Experiment 2, the task contingencies were immediately in opposition to the (reversed) derived rule, and participants generally responded in accordance with the task contingencies, rather than the rule. In Experiment 3, the task contingencies were initially rule-consistent before a contingency reversal that later made them rule-inconsistent. Here evidence of rule-persistence emerged. The results of the research are considered within the context of a recent framework that has emerged out of RFT for analyzing the dynamics involved in derived relational responding.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)460-480
Number of pages21
JournalJournal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior
Issue number2
Early online date20 Jan 2021
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 31 Mar 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Data collection was supported by the National Institute of Science and Technology on Behavior, Cognition, and Learning, with funds from the São Paulo Research Foundation (FAPESP, Grant #2014/50909‐8) and the Brazilian Council for Scientific and Technological development (CNPq, Grant #465686/2014‐1). The third author was supported by a Master Scholarship from the Brazilian Coordination for the Improvement of Higher Education Personnel (CAPES; Finance Code 001), and the fifth author was supported by a Master Scholarship from FAPESP (Grant #2019/01406‐7).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 Society for the Experimental Analysis of Behavior

Copyright 2021 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


  • rule-following
  • derived relations
  • flexibility
  • coherence
  • single participant design
  • HDML
  • Humans
  • Reinforcement, Psychology


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