Implicit and Explicit Measures of Transformation of Function from Facial Expressions of Fear and of Happiness via Equivalence Relations
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Studies on equivalence relations have suggested that abstract symbols might acquire emotional functions when related to facial expressions. The present study aimed to investigate the transformation of emotional functions from facial expressions of fear and of happiness to abstract stimuli via equivalence relations. A delayed matching-to-sample task established two equivalence classes between facial expressions of emotions and nonsense abstract stimuli: A1(Fear)-B1-C1-D1; A2(Happiness)-B2-C2-D2. After relational training (AB, AC, CD) and equivalence tests (BD, DB), the participants evaluated the meaning of one nonsense stimulus from each class (D1 and D2) by means of a semantic differential and an Implicit Relational Assessment Procedure (IRAP). Results from both the semantic differential and the IRAP supported the conclusion that the emotional functions of the faces, in terms of fear and happiness, had transformed via the equivalence classes to the D stimuli. Results are discussed in terms of the dynamics of arbitrarily applicable relational responding.
KeywordsEquivalence relations Transformation of function Semantic differential IRAP Facial expression
The present research was supported by means of a research funding from the São Paulo Research Foundation on behalf of William F. Perez (FAPESP 2016/05935-6). The second author was supported by a post-doc fellowship from the São Paulo Research Foundation (FAPESP 2014/01874-7 and 2017/10037-0). Preparation of the manuscript was supported by the Brazilian National Research Council (CNPq, Grants 573972/2008-7 and 465686/2014-1) and the São Paulo Research Foundation (FAPESP, Grant 2008/57705-8), both for Instituto Nacional de Ciência e Tecnologia sobre Comportamento, Cognição e Ensino (INCT-ECCE), chaired by Deisy G. de Souza (UFSCar).
The present research was supported by the São Paulo Research Foundation (FAPESP 2014/01874-7, 2016/05935-6, 2017/10037-0, 2008/57705-8) and by the Brazilian National Research Council (CNPq, Grants 573972/2008-7 and 465686/2014-1); the present study is also part of the research program of the Instituto Nacional de Ciência e Tecnologia sobre Comportamento, Cognição e Ensino (INCT-ECCE).
Compliance with Ethical Standards
Conflict of Interest
The authors declare they have no conflict of interest.
All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards. The research is approved by the Brazilian platform for ethical committees (Plataforma Brasil, CAAE # 54489116.4.0000.5504).
Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.
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