Teaching Real-World Categories Using Touchscreen Equivalence-Based Instruction

Ronda Barron, J.C. Leslie, Sinead Smyth

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)
260 Downloads (Pure)


Although researchers have evaluated the application of equivalence-based instruction (EBI) to naturalistic teaching settings, few have examined individualized educational programs of application. The current study therefore employed an EBI procedure to teach individual categorization lessons to pre-school age children (n = 5). A category sort test was used to identify stimuli for each child which were incorrectly categorized pre-intervention. These stimuli consisted of real-world stimuli from non-overlapping categories (e.g., toys, clothing, and fruit). Participants were trained in six conditional discriminations tested for the emergence of three three-member classes (A1, B1, C1; A2, B2, C2; A3, B3, C3) using a computerized touchscreen matching to sample (MTS) procedure. Participants subsequently were trained to identify receptively the category label for the C stimulus in each class. Following training and testing, the category sort test was re-administered. All participants demonstrated categorization of the directly trained class members and further generalization to addition unknown stimuli. The results show that little training was required in the use of touchscreen responding indicating that the use of such devices may provide a simple means of computerized teaching in young populations.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)89-101
Number of pages13
JournalThe Psychological Record
Issue number1
Early online date8 Mar 2018
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 31 Mar 2018


  • Touchscreen
  • Categorization
  • Children
  • Equivalence-based instruction
  • Match-to-sample


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