Dimensions of Rules and Their Correspondence to Rule-Governed Behavior Article

Pelaez, M. (2013). Dimensions of Rules and Their Correspondence to Rule-Governed Behavior . 14(2), 259-270. 10.1080/15021149.2013.11434459

cited authors

  • Pelaez, M


  • I present an account of different types of rules in terms of form and function, their dimensions, and their correspondence to rule-following behavior. I identify five dimensions of rules (as verbal stimuli) and relate them the listener’s behavior (rule-following) and the listener’s history of contingencies. This classification is according to rule: (a) explicitness (or implicitness), (b) accuracy (congruence or correspondence), (c) complexity (first order, second order conditional discriminations), (d) source (given by others or self), and (e) time (immediate, delayed, or remote). The main premise is that the probability that the listener will behave according to the contingencies specified on a given rule would depend on these dimensions, the context in which the rule is provided, and the listener’s history with the rule or similar rules. Even though experimental manipulations of different types of rules (e.g., instructions) have been conducted in studies of stimulus equivalence, rule-following, say-do correspondence, relational frames, and derived stimulus relations, I emphasize here the need for updating the concept and for a systematic analysis of the differential effects of the dimensions of rules on rule following.

publication date

  • December 1, 2013

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

start page

  • 259

end page

  • 270


  • 14


  • 2