Relational Density Theory: Nonlinearity of Equivalence Relating Examined through Higher-Order Volumetric-Mass-Density
We propose relational density theory, as an integration of stimulus equivalence and behavioral momentum theory, to predict the nonlinearity of equivalence responding of verbal humans. Consistent with Newtonian classical mechanics, the theory posits that equivalence networks will demonstrate the higher order properties of density, volume, and mass. That is, networks containing more relations (volume) that are stronger (density) will be more resistant to change (i.e., contain greater mass; mass = volume * density). Data from several equivalence experiments that are not easily interpreted through existing accounts are described in terms of the theory, generating predictable results in most cases. In addition, we put forward the higher-order properties of relational acceleration and gravity, which follow directly from the theory and may inspire future researchers to evaluate the seemingly self-organizing nature of human cognition. Finally, we conclude by describing avenues for real-world translation, considering past research interpreted through relational density theory, and call for basic experimental research to validate and extend core theoretical assumptions.
classical mechanics, relational density theory, relational frame theory, stimulus equivalence
Belisle, Jordan, and Mark R. Dixon. "Relational Density Theory: Nonlinearity of Equivalence Relating Examined through Higher-Order Volumetric-Mass-Density." Perspectives on Behavior Science (2020): 1-25.
Perspectives on Behavior Science