Verbal Behavior and Learning: Problems and Processes: Proceedings

By Charles N. Cofer; Barbara S. Musgrave | Go to book overview
In the case of paired-associate learning of elements that start with spaces of equal size, have no overlap and, therefore, no associative probability on each other, we assume that contiguity leads to overlap and that overt responding of the "response" item B establishes a larger space for it than for the "stimulus" item A. This would account for the relatively weaker B-A association. Another possibility is that the functional A may be different from the nominal A (in Underwood's terminology). In particular, this may be the case when A is not pronounced, and it would lead to the same prediction since the overlap produced by contiguity is not between A and B but between some A′ and B, and the probability of A (given B) would necessarily be reduced. Finally, it is of interest to note that, if we assume that paired-associate learning of "nonsense" CVCs produces a spatial arrangement such that B is not only larger but also that all of A is contained in B, we have established a point of contact with the logical model described earlier. In this case (A contained in B) the probability model is isomorphic with the logical concept "If A then B" or "All A are B" which was one of the input transformations suggested for the paired-associate situation.Returning to the mediation studies and the trend to make them into concept formation experiments, it is obvious that the logical and quasilogical transformations go even further in that direction. I am suggesting certain habitual conceptual transformations of input in the case of adult subjects. If the mediation phenomena are "conceptual" (either in associative or logical terms) one of the problems with the four-stage paradigm might be that it overtaxes the informational capacity of the organism. The amount of information to be used by the time the last stage is reached might be more than the organism can "hold." The success of the Russell and Storms experiment ( 1955) with preestablished normative associations may be a function of the easier availability of the first stages which have been overlearned and well established prior to the experimental procedure. In any case, Professor Jenkins's suggested further research should shed some light on this problem regardless of whether subjects are "associating' or "concept forming."
REFERENCES
Kjeldergaard P. M., & Horton D. L. ( 1960) An experimental analysis of associative factors in stimulus equivalence, response equivalence and chaining paradigms. Studies in verbal behavior. Rep. No. 3, NSF Grant, University of Minnesota.
Mandler G., & Cowan P. A. ( 1962) Learning of simple structures. J. Exp. Psychol., 64, 177-183.
Russell W. A., & Storms L. H. ( 1955) Implicit verbal chaining in paired- associate learning. J. Exp. Psychol., 49, 287-293.

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Verbal Behavior and Learning: Problems and Processes: Proceedings
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page v
  • Preface vii
  • Contents ix
  • Chapter 1 - Introduction and Summary 1
  • Chapter 2 - An Analysis of The Recognition Process 10
  • Comments on Professor Murdock's Paper 21
  • Chapter 3 - Stimulus Selection In Verbal Learning 33
  • References 48
  • References 48
  • References 67
  • Chapter 4 - Meaningfulness and Familiarity 76
  • Comments on Professor Noble's Paper 115
  • References 151
  • Chapter 5 - The Acquisition of Syntax 158
  • References 194
  • References 197
  • References 201
  • Chapter 6 - Mediated Associations: Paradigms and Situations 210
  • References 240
  • Comments on Professor Jenkins's Paper 242
  • References 245
  • References 252
  • Chapter 7 - Purpose and the Problem Of Associative Selectivity 258
  • References 289
  • Chapter 8 - One-Trial Learning 295
  • References 319
  • Comments on Professor Postman's Paper 320
  • References 328
  • Brief Notes on the Epam Theory Of Verbal Learning 332
  • References 333
  • Chapter 9 - Immediate Memory: Data and Theory 336
  • Comments on Professor Peterson's Paper 351
  • References 353
  • Chapter 10 - Summary and Evaluation 374
  • Index 383
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