Deconstructing Common Bidirectional Naming: A Proposed Classification Framework

Abstract

Conceptually, the use of the technical term naming appears to be a broad term that describes several subtypes of emergent verbal behavior. Miguel (The Analysis of Verbal Behavior, 32, 125–138, Miguel, 2016) introduces the concept of subtypes of naming, specifically common bidirectional naming and intraverbal bidirectional naming. He defines common bidirectional naming as “the process of different stimuli evoking the same speaker and listener behaviour and becoming members of the same class” (p. 130). A review of the literature on common bidirectional naming yielded some ambiguities related to differences in how researchers in the field defined naming. This article suggests that common bidirectional naming may be further dissected to yield six subtypes of naming. We aligned previous research on emergent verbal behavior with a unified taxonomy as part of a larger proposed classification framework on naming. The impact of identifying the subtypes of common bidirectional naming on skill acquisition and curriculum design is discussed. Finally, recommendations are made for future research based on this framework.


Tue, 16 Oct 2018, 5:00 pm


An Evaluation of Conditional Manding Using a Four-Component Multiple Schedule

Abstract

Most verbal behavior curricula for children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) focus on teaching multiple mands during the early stages of training (e.g., picture exchange communication system; Bondy & Frost, 1994). However, few, if any, of those curricula train children with ASD to differentially mand only for reinforcers that are reasonable for a caregiver to deliver in a given context (e.g., mands to cuddle at bedtime) and to refrain from manding for reinforcers that would be inappropriate to deliver in that context (e.g., mands to play outside at bedtime). In this study, we first taught a boy with ASD two initial mands. Immediately thereafter we brought those mands under the conditional discriminative control of a four-component multiple schedule with (a) S1 correlated with one reinforcer available (i.e., edibles), (b) S2 correlated with both reinforcers available (i.e., edibles or drink), (c) S3 correlated with another reinforcer available (i.e., drink), and (d) SΔ correlated with no reinforcer available. Following treatment, the child displayed conditionally discriminated manding in accordance with each of the four components of the schedule. We discuss these findings relative to the potential benefits of bringing mands under both evocative and discriminative control.


Sun, 14 Oct 2018, 5:00 pm


Examination of the Effects of Auditory and Textual Stimuli on Response Accuracy and Latency during a Math Task and Tangram Puzzle

Abstract

Although Skinner (1957) provided a behavioral account of verbal thinking, additional research is needed to evaluate stimuli that may influence covert verbal behavior that occurs between the onset of a verbal stimulus and the emission of a response during an episode of verbal thinking. The present investigation examined the effects of auditory distractors and/or textual stimuli during arithmetic problems and tangram puzzles on the participants’ response latency and accuracy. In addition, we measured and categorized occurrences of vocal verbal behavior during the response interval. In Experiments 1 and 2, the experimenter played auditory distractors during a proportion of arithmetic problems. In Experiment 2, the experimenter also presented a textual stimulus of the arithmetic problem. In Experiment 3, the experimenter played auditory distractors during a proportion of tangram puzzles. Results showed that auditory distractors led to longer response latencies and reduced accuracy in Experiment 1. The addition of the textual stimulus during trials in Experiment 2 improved accuracy and reduced differences in response latency when the auditory distractors were and were not present during the response interval. The auditory distractors during tangram puzzles in Experiment 3 produced no differential effects on accuracy or latency to respond.


Sun, 23 Sep 2018, 5:00 pm


Vernacular Selection: What to Say and When to Say It

Abstract

The language of behavior analysis is precise in the sense that it focuses attention on functional relations between behavior and the environment that are extended in time. However, to non-behavior analysts, behavior-analytic terms and explanations are difficult to understand and awkward sounding. Evidence suggests that this has had deleterious effects on the acceptance of the field of behavior analysis and its explanations of behavior. The goal of this article is to assert that verbal behavior that describes behavior is functionally related to subsequent explanatory verbal behavior. In addition, it is argued that technical language is not a requirement of precision and logical formulation. Suggestions are made regarding how behavior analysts can generate evidence to better understand explanatory preferences of individuals with various amounts of exposure to behavior analysis. In addition, methods are suggested for introducing behavior analysis to others with vernacular descriptions of behavior and its causes that do not obscure critical distinctions by introducing mental/mediational explanations.


Thu, 23 Aug 2018, 5:00 pm


Enhancing Instruction via Instructive Feedback for a Child With Autism Using a Speech-Generating Device

Abstract

Instructive feedback (IF) is a procedure in which secondary targets are presented to a learner during instruction for primary skills. Previous research has demonstrated that students with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) may acquire at least a portion of skills presented via IF. Although it is a promising instructional methodology for learners with ASD, few studies focus on learners who use an augmentative device for communication purposes. The purpose of the current investigation was to extend the IF literature related to students with ASD who use communication devices. Across all target skills, IF resulted in the acquisition of at least a portion of secondary targets without explicit teaching.


Sun, 24 Jun 2018, 5:00 pm


Instructional Demonstrations are More Efficient Than Consequences Alone for Children with Naming

Abstract

Prior research found that without the naming cusp, children did not learn from instructional demonstrations presented before learn units (IDLUs) (i.e., modeling an expected response twice for a learner prior to delivering an instructional antecedent), however, following the establishment of naming, they could. The present study was designed to compare the rate of learning reading and mathematics objectives in children who showed naming using IDLUs compared to standard learn units (SLUs) alone (comparable to three-term contingency trials). In Phase 1, a pre-screening phase, we demonstrated that four typically developing males, 3 to 4 years of age, had naming within their repertoire, meaning they were able to master the names of novel 2-D stimuli as both a listener and a speaker without explicit instruction. Using the same participants in Phase 2, we compared rates of learning under two instructional methods using a series of repeated AB designs where conditions (IDLUs versus SLUs) were counterbalanced across dyads and replicated across participants. The participants learned more than twice as fast under IDLU conditions and showed between 30% and 50% accuracy on the first presentation of a stimulus following a model. The IDLU condition was more efficient (fewer trials to criterion) than the SLU condition. These findings, together with prior findings, suggest that the onset of naming allows children to learn faster when instructional demonstrations are incorporated into lessons.


Sun, 6 May 2018, 5:00 pm


An investigation of the effects of a parent delivered stimulus-stimulus pairing intervention on vocalizations of two children with Autism Spectrum Disorder

Abstract

Communication deficits in children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) can manifest in a myriad of lifelong social and educational challenges. Many children with ASD fail to learn vocal verbal behavior and may require intensive individualized intervention to learn early verbal operants. The current research aimed to evaluate the effects of a parent delivered stimulus-stimulus pairing (SSP) procedure on target vocalizations of two young children with ASD who did not present with vocal verbal behavior. Results indicated the intervention was successful in increasing the frequency of the target vocalizations for both participants. Social validity results indicated that parents were satisfied with the intervention and their own implementation of these procedures. These results are discussed in terms of their implications for parent delivered interventions.


Tue, 10 Apr 2018, 5:00 pm


Editorial

Sat, 30 Sep 2017, 5:00 pm


Jack Michael’s Musings on the 60th Anniversary of Skinner’s Verbal Behavior

Abstract

When the B. F. Skinner Foundation reprinted Skinner’s Verbal Behavior in 1992, Jack Michael wrote one of its two forewords, a detailed outline of the book’s purpose and scope. On the 60th anniversary of the first publication (1957) of Verbal Behavior, Jack reflects on the book’s impact and its importance to the understanding of language from a behavioral perspective.


Sat, 30 Sep 2017, 5:00 pm


A Preliminary Analysis of Procedures to Teach Children with Autism to Report Past Behavior

Abstract

Deficits in reporting past behavior may have implications for a child’s social development and safety. Behavioral interpretations of memory and research on do/say correspondence provide valuable strategies to teach reporting past behavior when deficits are observed. The current study examined procedures to teach accurate reporting of past behavior following a delay for two children diagnosed with autism. During baseline, both participants accurately reported past behavior when immediately probed. Neither participant emitted accurate reporting following a delay during end-of-day probes. Treatment procedures included prompting, reinforcement, and fading procedures designed to maintain stimulus control across the delay. Both participants demonstrated accurate reporting of past behavior on delayed probes, including when conducted by a caregiver.


Sat, 30 Sep 2017, 5:00 pm


Establishing auditory-tactile-visual equivalence classes in children with autism and developmental delays

Abstract

The current study sought to evaluate the efficacy of a stimulus equivalence training procedure in establishing auditory–tactile–visual stimulus classes with 2 children with autism and developmental delays. Participants were exposed to vocal–tactile (A–B) and tactile–picture (B–C) conditional discrimination training and were tested for the emergence of vocal–picture (A–C) and picture–vocal (C–A) responses. The results demonstrated that, following training, both participants responded successfully on both the training stimulus arrangements and the test probes that were never trained, illustrating emergence of cross-modal transitive and equivalence relations.


Sat, 30 Sep 2017, 5:00 pm


Recollections of Jack Michael and the Application of Skinner’s Analysis of Verbal Behavior

Abstract

Jack Michael offered a course on verbal behavior almost every year throughout his teaching career. Jack was also interested in the application of Skinner's work and in 1976 began to offer a graduate course at Western Michigan University titled Verbal Behavior Applications. Jack and his students pursued the application of Skinner's work on verbal behavior with dozens of empirical studies during the 1970s. In honor of the 60th anniversary of the publication of Skinner's book Verbal Behavior, the current paper presents some of my recollections of Jack's work on verbal behavior as his student, graduate teaching assistant, and research collaborator during that time period.


Sat, 30 Sep 2017, 5:00 pm


Can Collateral Behavior Account for Transitions in the Stimulus Control of Speech?

Abstract

The task of extending Skinner’s (1957) interpretation of verbal behavior includes accounting for the moment-to-moment changes in stimulus control as one speaks. A consideration of the behavior of the reader reminds us of the continuous evocative effect of verbal stimuli on readers, listeners, and speakers. Collateral discriminative responses to verbal stimuli, beyond mere echoic or textual behavior, are potential sources of control and must be included in any complete account of both verbal and nonverbal behavior.


Sat, 30 Sep 2017, 5:00 pm


Establishing Derived Equivalence Relations of Basic Geography Skills in Children with Autism

Abstract

The present study evaluated the efficacy of a stimulus-equivalence training procedure in teaching basic geography skills to two children with autism. The procedures were taken directly from a standardized training curriculum based in stimulus equivalence theory called Promoting the Emergence of Advanced Knowledge Equivalence Module (PEAK-E). Results suggest that the procedures were efficacious in directly training several geographical relations, as well as promoting the derivation of several untrained relations for three countries and their corresponding continents. In addition, responding generalized from selecting countries on a tabletop paper map to selecting countries on an interactive touchscreen map.


Sat, 30 Sep 2017, 5:00 pm


Empirical Application of Skinner’s Verbal Behavior to Interventions for Children with Autism: A Review

Abstract

Sundberg and Michael (2011) reviewed the contributions of Skinner’s (1957) Verbal Behavior to the treatment of language delays in children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and discussed several aspects of interventions, including mand training, intraverbal repertoire development, and the importance of using Skinner’s taxonomy of verbal behavior in the clinical context. In this article, we provide an update of Sundberg and Michael’s review and expand on some discussion topics. We conducted a systematic review of studies that focused on Skinner’s verbal operants in interventions for children with ASD that were published from 2001 to 2017 and discussed the findings in terms of journal source, frequency, and type of verbal operant studied.


Sat, 30 Sep 2017, 5:00 pm


The impact of Verbal Behavior on the scholarly literature from 2005 to 2016

Abstract

B. F. Skinner’s (1957) Verbal Behavior had a limited influence on empirical research in the first few decades following its publication, but an increase in empirical activity has been evident in recent years. The purpose of this article is to update previous analyses that have quantified the influence of Verbal Behavior on the scholarly literature, with an emphasis on its impact on empirical research. Study 1 was a citation analysis that showed an increase in citations to Verbal Behavior from 2005 to 2016 relative to earlier time periods. In particular, there was a large increase in citations from empirical articles. Study 2 identified empirical studies in which a verbal operant was manipulated or measured, regardless of whether or not Verbal Behavior was cited, and demonstrated a large increase in publication rate, with an increasing trend in the publication of both basic and applied experimental analyses throughout the review period. A majority of the studies were concerned with teaching verbal behavior to children with autism spectrum disorder and other developmental disabilities, but a variety of other basic and applied research topics were also represented. The results suggest a clearly increasing impact of Verbal Behavior on the experimental analysis of behavior on the 60th anniversary of the book’s publication.


Sat, 30 Sep 2017, 5:00 pm


The Generalization of Mands

Abstract

The mand is a type of verbal operant whose response form is under control of a motivating operation (MO). It is the first verbal operant to be acquired, directly benefits the speaker, leads to the development of other behaviors, and may serve to replace problem behavior. Even though the topography of the mand is under the functional control of an MO, its occurrence is influenced by a multitude of variables functioning as discriminative stimuli (SDs). Thus, the generalization of mands can occur across both MOs and SDs. Additionally, the same MO may evoke new mand topographies—a form of response generalization. The purpose of this article is to distinguish and describe these types of mand generalization in order to encourage future research and influence practice.


Sat, 30 Sep 2017, 5:00 pm


Reflections on Verbal Behavior at 60

Abstract

In the present essay, commemorating the 60th anniversary of the publication of B. F. Skinner’s Verbal Behavior, I stand by and defend the judgment I expressed in my article “The Long Goodbye: Why B. F. Skinner’s Verbal Behavior Is Alive and Well on the 50th Anniversary of Its Publication” (2008c)—that Skinner’s “interpretation of the behavior of the speaker, given the contingencies of reinforcement maintained by the community” (Skinner, 1987, p. 11), is not only adequate but is also consistent with the principles of operant learning. To that I add some of my reflections on the book after having taught it for years and having written numerous articles extending Skinner’s analysis to related topics.


Sat, 30 Sep 2017, 5:00 pm