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Acta Comportamentalia

Print version ISSN 0188-8145


PINTO, Ana Rachel; PARACAMPO, Carla Cristina Paiva  and  ALBUQUERQUE, Luiz Carlos de. Analysis of rule control in participants classified as flexible or rigid. Acta comport. [online]. 2006, vol.14, n.2, pp. 171-194. ISSN 0188-8145.

The present study investigated whether maintenance of contingency-discrepant rule-following is more dependent upon the listener experimental history or upon his/her pre-experimental history, inferred from the listener's responses to a questionnaire about inflexibility. Sixteen university students previously classifíed as high and low on a rigidity scale were exposed to a matching-to-sample procedure in which respondents pointed to one of three comparison stimuli. After the baseline in Session 1, the contingencies in Session 2 were changed in Session 3, whereas the contingencies in Session 3 were the same in Session 4, which began with a contingency-discrepant rule. In Session 2, pointing was established by contingencies in Condition I and by rules in Condition II. Regardless of the experimental condition, 6 of the 8 "flexible" participants ceased discrepant rule-following in Session 4. In contrast, 7 of the 8 "rigid" participants continued discrepant rule following in Session 4. The systematic differences observed between performances of the classified flexible and unflexible, support the suggestion that individual differences generated by different pre-experimental histories are variable related to maintenance or not the discrepant rule-following.

Keywords : Instruction; Rule; Descriptions; Cultural transmission; Matching-to-sample; Undergraduate students.

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