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Mind Reading: The Role of Quality and Duration of the Relationship in Predicting Novel Behavior of Another Person
AuthorDeBernardis, Genevieve M.
AdvisorHayes, Linda J.
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The experimental investigation of mind reading has been ignored by the behavior analytic community, as it is seen as private and therefore unobservable. The present study argues that mind reading is an observable phenomenon that can be investigated in a controlled and objective manner if adequate analogues of these events are employed for this purpose. In such investigations, quality and duration of the shared history are relevant. The present study utilized the stimulus equivalence paradigm to investigate the role of duration and quality of the relationship in mind reading accuracy. Manipulation of the number and type of relations participants were exposed to in the Observation Phase, simulated varying degrees of quality and duration of relationship, respectively. While duration of the relationship may be an important factor, the relatively brief analog histories explored in this experiment were not sufficient to produce differential outcomes in mind reading accuracy as a function of this variable. By contrast, the quality of the relationship, as explored in this analogue, was shown to have a significant impact on mind reading accuracy for some participants.