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The nature of standard control in children's matching-to-sample1

By Michael H. Dixon and Lois S. Dixon


In Experiment I, six preschool-aged children were given matching-to-sample training with two figures in which they were required to choose one of two comparison stimuli that was identical in shape to the standard stimulus. Following this training, they were given intermittent test trials in which a novel stimulus figure was substituted for the previously correct comparison stimulus. Five of the six subjects consistently chose the substituted stimulus during test trials. Experiment II replicated the findings of Experiment I with three other preschool-aged children. Experiment II also provided controls for the possibility that the subjects of Experiment I were selecting the substituted stimulus because of its novelty. The investigators concluded that eight of the nine subjects were exhibiting the type of control described by Berryman, Cumming, Cohen, and Johnson (1965) as S-delta responding

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