Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Arts



First Advisor

Dr. Jack L. Michael

Second Advisor

Dr. Anna Kay Campbell

Third Advisor

Dr. William Redmon

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Open Access


This study compared selection-based with topography-based learning of similar verbal relationships. In two previous studies, using developmentally disabled subjects, topography-based relations were easier to learn. The previous researchers suggested that the advantage of a topography-based system would increase as the number of relations to be learned increased.

To investigate this possibility, the present study used a 5 and 20-stimulus version of each system. Four independent groups of seven college students each were used in a two by two design. The selection-based task consisted in learning to point to the Japanese character appropriate for each English sample. The topography-based task consisted in learning to say the Japanese word for each English sample.

With the 5-stimulus task, both kinds of verbal relations were about equally difficult to learn, but with the 20-stimulus task the selection-based relations were easier to learn than the topography-based relations. These results contradict the earlier findings.