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Title: A taxonomy of the analysis of pre and post contingency contact descriptions [Una taxonomía para el análisis de descripciones pre y post contacto con arreglos contingenciales]
Author: Ortiz, G.
Gonzalez, A.
Rosas, M.
Issue Date: 2008
Abstract: There is enough data in the literature to support an argument showing functional differences between instructions and rules. In an attempt to distinguish these elements, this paper presents the argument that even though instructions and rules are descriptions of particular contingencies, they differ in: a) the moment in which the subject describes the contingency, b) the description's source, and c) their function in behavior acquisition and maintenance. It can be assumed that any situation, both experimental and non-experimental, is made up of three components: 1) stimulus situation (SS), 2) subject's response (R), and 3) response's consequences (C). The description made about each component often possesses four qualities: a) presence, b) relevance, c) specificity, and d) pertinence. These qualities are inclusive and the registered values are the opposite sides of each one (i.e. presence-absence, relevant-irrelevant, generic-specific, pertinent-non pertinent). Should rules and instructions considered to be descriptions of a contingencial array, it would be necessary to have a taxonomy that allows analysis and qualification under similar assessment criteria. Any description can be classified into six identifiable categories; four of them, result from a combination of quality values (i.e. specificity and pertinence), the fifth is based on the mention of irrelevant elements, and the sixth is based on the non-mention of any of the elements: 1) Specific and pertinent (SP), 2) Specific and Non-Pertinent (SNP), 3) Generic and Pertinent (GP), 4 Generic and Non-pertinent (GNP), 5) Irrelevant (I), and 6) Absent (A). This proposal can constitute a useful tool for the study and analysis of contingencial descriptions (i.e. instructions and rules).
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