Document Type


Date of Degree Completion

Winter 2018

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Applied Behavior Analysis

Committee Chair

Sadie Lovett

Second Committee Member

Susan Lonborg

Third Committee Member

Richard Marsicano


The present study examined the emergence of stimulus equivalence using both selection-based and topography-based tests following a lecture or control condition. This study also evaluated generalization to novel stimuli in both selection-based and topography-based response formats, and evaluated the social validity of the instructional procedure. Twenty undergraduate students who were at least 18 years of age were assigned to a lecture or control condition. Participants in the lecture condition were exposed to a lecture on the topic of generalization. Participants in the control condition watched the video Martin Seligman: The New Era of Positive Psychology that did not relate to the content of the tests. Participants were given multiple choice pre- and post-tests, intraverbal pre- and post-tests, and emergent relation pre- and post-tests. When selection-based tests were compared to topography-based tests, neither group performed significantly better on one type of test or the other. As for generalization, both the lecture and control groups showed an increase in correct responding. Since both groups had an increase in correct responding, the generalization that occurred was likely due to a testing effect and not the specific condition that the participants were exposed. Participants in this study moderately preferred the instructional format.