Transitive inference and symbolic distance effect using 5- and 7-item serial stimuli in students.

Masashi Ida

Department of Psychology

Tokiwa University

Program Number: 324.015

XXVI International Congress of Psychology

August 1996 Montreal, Canada

"A is better than B, while B is better than C. Then is A better than C?" The process of making a decision in reply to this question -- transitive inference -- was studied. To verify whether human subjects use some kind of representation to solve problems of transitive inference, experiments were conducted under conditional discrimination task using linear 5-item, 7-item, loop 5-item, and 7-item stimuli with university students as subjects. Symbolic distance effects were observed in tests after conditional discrimination training. The results of the training trial were quite similar to those of pigeons.