Exclusion Learning

Exclusion learning is a term that is coined by behavior analysts to describe the emergence of new conditional discriminations in the absence of direct training. Given the presentation of an unknown sample and two comparison stimuli (e.g., an unknown stimulus and a known stimulus), selection of an unknown stimulus may emerge. Even when an individual has never been trained to select an unknown stimulus in the presence of an unknown sample, exclusion of the known stimulus may occur simply because it does not correspond with the unknown sample. In this project, basic and applied literature conducted on exclusion learning were reviewed that included different groups of individuals. These individuals included non-human subjects, adults, children, and individuals with mild-to-severe developmental disabilities. Recommendations and implications for practice were also discussed. In addition, a brief training was developed that included instructional materials to train behavior analysts and behavioral technicians on the topic of exclusion learning.