Association for Behavior Analysis International

The Association for Behavior Analysis International® (ABAI) is a nonprofit membership organization with the mission to contribute to the well-being of society by developing, enhancing, and supporting the growth and vitality of the science of behavior analysis through research, education, and practice.


40th Annual Convention; Chicago, IL; 2014

Event Details

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Symposium #91
Procedural Analysis in the Training of Verbal Behavior
Saturday, May 24, 2014
4:00 PM–4:50 PM
W185d (McCormick Place Convention Center)
Area: VRB; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Victoria Smith (Childhood Autism Services, Papillion NE)

Continued refinements in training method is a hallmark of Applied Behavior Analysis. The papers in this symposium represent further efforts to evaluate effective teaching procedures with children diagnosed on the autism spectrum and typically developing children. Manding, tacting, and intraverbaling will be discussed with a focus on how to affect performance in efficient ways.

Keyword(s): intraverbal, mand, matrix training, verbal behavior

A Comparison of a Matrix Programming and Standard Discrete Trial Training Format to Teach Two-Component Tacts

EMILY BRAFF (Engage Behavioral Health), Timothy M. Weil (University of South Florida)

Teaching using matrix programming has been shown to result in recombinative generalization. However, this procedure has not been compared to more standard discrete trial training formats such as DTT. This study compared acquisition and recombinative generalization of two-component tacts using each procedure. Matrix training was found to be more efficient than the DTT format. Half the amount of teaching was required to teach roughly the same number of targets using matrix training as compared to DTT.

Verbal Operant Transfer with Mands and Tacts Using Multiple Exemplars
JESSICA SHEA (University of South Florida), Raymond G. Miltenberger (University of South Florida)
Abstract: Research on the functional independence of tacts and mands is mixed. There is a substantial amount of research showing differentiating results, with findings supporting both functional independence of verbal operants as well as the opposite. With these mixed results, the conditions under which tact training transfers to mands are unclear however. The current study evaluated whether multiple exemplars of tact training followed by mand training would result in the independent transfer from tacts to mands. This was done thru teaching children with language delays to tact highly preferred edible items, followed by mand training. It was thought that if the participants were able to mand with no direct training for edible items it would occur after two sequences of tact training to mand training. The study however was able to show that all three participants started manding for the item independently during tact training after one sequence of tact training followed by mand training.
Comparison of Acquisition Rates and Child Preference for Varying Amounts of Teacher Directedness when Teaching Intraverbals
VICTORIA SMITH (Childhood Autism Services, Papilion NE), Kimberly Crosland (University of South Florida)
Abstract: The purpose of this study was to extend research of Heal and Hanley (2011) where it was hypothesized that different instructional strategies would yield varying rates of skill acquisition and child-preference. Additional focus on placed on the possible punishing effects of an embedded teaching strategy on engagement in learning opportunities. This study extended previous research methodology utilized with the tact to include the intraverbal. Independent variables included three teaching strategies: discovery teaching, embedded prompting, and direct teaching in a multi-element design by rapidly alternating teaching strategies. Acquisition rate, number of learning opportunities, and play within the teaching strategies were evaluated. Child preference was also assessed through card selection of associated teaching strategies in a concurrent chains agreement design. Upon study conclusion, preference varied across participants, with all participants demonstrating the highest percentage correct responding under direct teaching contingencies. However, embedded prompting was not found to exhibit a punishing affect.



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