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Transformation of Thought Suppression Functions Via Same and Opposite Relations

O�Keefe, Ronan; Stewart, Ian; Hooper, Nic; Walsh, Paul; O'Keefe, Ronan; Joyce, Rachel; McHugh, Louise

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Ronan O�Keefe

Ian Stewart

Nic Hooper
Senior Lecturer in Psychology

Paul Walsh

Ronan O'Keefe

Rachel Joyce

Louise McHugh


© 2014, Association for Behavior Analysis International. The aim of this study was to investigate transformation of thought suppression functions via ‘same’ and ‘opposite’ relations. In Experiment 1 participants were given training and testing with the aim of generating same and opposite relational responding in two five-member relational networks. They then had to suppress a target word from one of the two networks, while words appeared individually onscreen including the target, and words either in the same (target) or a different (nontarget) network. They could remove any word by pressing the spacebar. Findings showedmore frequent and faster removal of the target than other words and of words in the target network than other words. Experiment 2, the aim of which was to include predominantly ‘opposite’ relations in the relational networks, produced a similar but weaker pattern. Experiment 3 replicated the pattern seen in Experiment 2, while showing that the relations designated as opposite produced a more conventional transformation of functions in a context other than thought suppression.


O’Keefe, R., Stewart, I., Hooper, N., Walsh, P., O'Keefe, R., Joyce, R., & McHugh, L. (2015). Transformation of Thought Suppression Functions Via Same and Opposite Relations. Psychological Record, 65(2), 375-399.

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date Jun 1, 2015
Deposit Date Apr 9, 2015
Publicly Available Date Feb 10, 2016
Journal Psychological Record
Print ISSN 0033-2933
Electronic ISSN 2163-3452
Publisher Springer Verlag
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 65
Issue 2
Pages 375-399
Keywords thought suppression, relational frame theory
Public URL
Publisher URL
Additional Information Additional Information : The final publication is available at Springer via