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Access Type

WSU Access

Date of Award

January 2022

Degree Type


Degree Name




First Advisor

John L. Woodard


This study examined performance on a novel stimulus equivalence task for explicitly trained versus implicitly derived relations, compared performance across versions of the task using letters versus symbols as stimuli, and examined cognitive correlates of task performance. Participants were 94 young adults who were each administered both versions of the stimulus equivalence task in addition to measures of episodic memory, working memory, and processing speed. Latent Growth Modeling was used to examine differences in latent learning slope and intercept for response time (RT) on the stimulus equivalence task across relations (i.e., trained, symmetry, and transitivity) and conditions (i.e., Letter and Symbol). Repeated measures ANOVA analyses were used to examine the impact of relation, condition, and trial number on RT. Results indicated that participants generally showed quicker RT to trained (vs. derived) relations and letter (vs. symbol) stimuli. A different trend was observed for each condition by which trained relations were faster than both symmetry and transitivity relations in the Letter condition, and transitivity relations were slower than both trained and symmetry relations in the Symbol condition. A downward slope for RT was observed across trials, with no slope differences across relations or conditions. Lastly, accuracy on both versions of the stimulus equivalence task was related to other measures of episodic memory, working memory, and processing speed, whereas RT was only related to each of these measures in the Letter condition. Overall, these results indicate that young adults can readily establish both trained and derived relations after a single training.

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