International Journal of Psychology and Psychological Therapy

Volume 15 Num. 3 - October 2015


Discriminaciones condicionales con estímulos contextuales versus complejos: implicaciones en la transferencia del aprendizaje (Conditional Discriminations Using Contextual versus Complex Stimuli: Implication for Learning Transfer)

Volume 15 Num. 3 - October 2015 - Pages 387-402


Daniel Falla , Francisco J. Alós , María Salud Jiménez


This study sought to determine the effect of two conditional discrimination procedures involving contextual vs complex stimuli, on two types of learning transfer. For this purpose, three experiments were carried out. The first experiment used a contextual control procedure and the second a complex control procedure. The third experiment compared the two procedures using an inter-group design. The first two experiments aimed to determine the effect of the teaching procedure used on the transfer of learning to new stimulus relations (first type of transfer). The third experiment sought to determine the effect of teaching conditional discriminations using wither contextual or complex stimuli on the other discrimination (second type of transfer). In the first experiment, four out of six subjects displayed transfer of learning to new stimulus relations; in the second, only two subjects displayed that transfer. In the third experiment, statistically-significant differences were recorded for the dependent variable: successful attempts in the test using contextual stimuli. The teaching of tasks using contextual stimuli appears to favour the transfer of learning to conditional discriminations involving complex stimuli; the reverse, however, is not true to the same extent. These findings may be useful for the teaching of complex discriminations to intellectually-disabled or autistic children

Key words:

conditional discrimination, contextual stimuli, complex stimuli, learning transfer

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