RCP (Less more than) program written for Anita Munnelly
This programme was used to examine problem-solving abilities in adults. The computer-based task was designed to be reflective of the activities (e.g., reading and writing) that individuals engage in on a day-to-day basis. Participants were required to learn the comparative relation (e.g., more-than/less-than) between a number of relations presented onscreen. In the upper portion of the screen, participants were required to engage in a “sentence-like” completion task (from left-to-right), by placing the images from the bottom of the screen into the blank yellow squares in the top portion of the screen. The first phase of the experiment involved images that were physically similar (e.g., one and two basketballs). During later stages, the images changed, and consisted of abstract (arbitrary) visual images, that were not physically similar. Feedback (e.g., “Correct!” and “Wrong”) was presented onscreen during training, but was omitted during test phases. In addition, during all training and test phases, a task feedback thermometer was displayed in the centre of the right-hand side of the computer screen. The purpose of this was to provide participants with information regarding the number of trials in a particular phase, and the thermometer incremented following each response. The programme was used with the standard mouse and keyboard response systems, and also with a touch-screen monitor.
Spatial Relations program written for Richard May
Relational Frame Theory (RFT) is a behavioural account of language and cognition (Hayes, Barnes-Holmes, & Roche, 2001). At the heart of RFT is the proposal that learning to derive relationships between the objects and events is key in language development. This series of studies represents the first experimental analysis of relational framing involving spatial relations. The aim of this experimental work is it to develop a procedure which both trains and tests for the emergence of spatial relational framing. Relational framing interventions may have particular utility in clinical and educational settings. Two recent example of the application of relational learning interventions based on RFT, include teaching perspective taking skills to children diagnosed with autism (McHugh, Barnes-Holmes & Barnes-Holmes, 2009), and raising I.Q scores in children with special educational needs (Cassidy, Roche & Hayes, 2011).
Slot Machine program written for Alice Hoon
The program was designed to test the phenomenon of the "near-miss". A near-miss occurs when two out of three matching symbols appear on the payout line of a slot machine and gamblers often rate these outcomes as being "closer" to a win, even though it is technically a loss. In this program, participants are presented with combinations of wins, near-misses and total losses and following every ten trials are asked to rate how close each of these outcomes are to a win.