Evaluating procedural parameters of successive matching-to-sample for the establishment of equivalence classes

The matching-to-sample procedure (MTS) is typically used to teach conditional stimulus-stimulus relations and test for emergent (untaught) relations. Even though MTS has proven to be an effective teaching procedure, successful performance requires prerequisite discriminative skills. A few basic studies have evaluated successive-matching-to-sample (S-MTS) procedures as alternatives to traditional MTS with adults. Two experiments evaluated the effectiveness of S-MTS to establish emergent relations with 16 undergraduate college students. Following training of baseline relations (AB/BC), participants were tested to evaluate whether untrained relations (i.e., BA/CB and AC/CA) emerged. Overall, 13 out of 16 participants demonstrated emergent equivalence (AC/CA) responding, indicating that S-MTS might be a viable alternative to traditional MTS to establish emergent relations.