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Producing and recognizing analogical relations
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Analogical reasoning is an important component of intelligent behavior, and it key test of any approach to human language and cognition. Only a limited amount of empirical work has been conducted from a behavior analytic point of view, most of that with in Relational Frame Theory (RFT), which views analogy as a matter of deriving relations among relations. The present Series of four studies expands previous work by exploring the applicability of this model of analog to topography-based rather than merely selection-based responses and by extending the work into additional relations, including nonsymmetrical ones. In each of the four studies participants pretrained in contextual control over nonarbitrary stimulus relations of sameness and opposition, or of sameness, smaller than, and larger than, learned arbitrary stimulus relations in the presence of these relational cites and derived analogies involving directly trained relations and derived relations of mutual and combinatorial entailment, measured using it variety of productive and selection-based measures. In Experiment I participants successfully recognized analogies among stimulus networks containing same and opposite relations; in Experiment 2 analogy was successfully used to extend derived relations to pairs of novel stimuli; in Experiment 3 the procedure used in Experiment I was extended to nonsymmetrical comparative relations; in Experiment 4 the procedure used in Experiment 2 was extended to nonsymmetrical comparative relations. Although not every participant showed the effects predicted, overall the procedures occasioned relational responses consistent with an RFT account that have no yet been demonstrated in a behavior-analytic laboratory setting, including productive responding on the basis of analogics.