Editorial

Thu, 16 Nov 2017, 4:00 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.


Wed, 8 Nov 2017, 4:00 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.


Wed, 8 Nov 2017, 4:00 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.


Wed, 8 Nov 2017, 4:00 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.


Sun, 17 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.


Sun, 17 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.


Mon, 26 Jun 2017, 5:00 pm




Talk-Aloud Protocols during Conditional Discrimination Training and Equivalence Class Formation

Abstract

The primary focus of the present experiment was to study participants’ self-talk during conditional discrimination training and test for the emergence of conditional relations consistent with equivalence. Eighteen adult participants were exposed to either a Many-to-One (MTO) or a One-to-Many (OTM) training structure arranged as a 6-s delayed matching-to-sample (DMTS) procedure. During training and testing, participants were asked to talk aloud. Each trial was divided into three time-windows for recording vocal responses. The first time-window was when the sample was presented, the second time-window was the delay following the offset of the sample stimulus until the onset of the comparisons, and the final time-window was when the comparison array was presented. Overall, participants in the OTM condition talked more than participants in the MTO condition. The participants exposed to MTO increased talking during the third time-window from last part of training to test more than the participants in the OTM condition. For 16 of the 18 participants, talking aloud was less than 55% in the second time-window (during the delay). Conversely, talking in the first and third time-windows were higher than 90% in both groups. Thus, it seems that talking is affected by the shift from training to testing to a greater degree when exposed to MTO than OTM. Furthermore, the data indicate that the participants did not need to talk aloud during the delay to respond correctly on DMTS trials.


Wed, 31 May 2017, 5:00 pm


Authorship Trends in The Analysis of Verbal Behavior : 1982–2016

Abstract

The Analysis of Verbal Behavior (TAVB) is the only journal focused on theoretical and empirical research in verbal behavior. An assessment of authorship trends can provide a critical perspective on practices in verbal behavior analysis (e.g., participation by non-US institutions, contributions by female authors). The present study examines authorship trends in all articles published in TAVB since its inception (between 1982 and 2016). All authors and their affiliations were listed and the first authors denoted as such. Authors were characterized as follows: prolificacy, new vs. frequent contributor status, number of co-authors, editor status, fellow status in a professional organization, and gender. Institutional affiliations were characterized as follows: academic vs. nonacademic institutions, prolificacy, and location (country). The review included 383 articles by 487 authors from 200 institutions. Our findings revealed areas in which TAVB is reaching maturity (e.g., author gender) and areas in which further action by contributors and editors is needed (e.g., international participation).


Wed, 31 May 2017, 5:00 pm


An annotated bibliography of verbal behavior articles published outside of The Analysis of Verbal Behavior: 2016

Abstract

An annotated bibliography is provided that summarizes journal articles on verbal behavior published outside of The Analysis of Verbal Behavior in 2016, the primary journal for scholarship in this area. Thirty-seven such articles were identified and annotated as a resource for practitioners, researchers, and educators.


Wed, 31 May 2017, 5:00 pm


Intraverbal Training for Individuals with Autism: The Current Status of Multiple Control

Abstract

Teaching complex intraverbal responding to children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) can be challenging and often requires careful programming. Divergent and convergent multiple control are particularly important elements to incorporate into intraverbal training programs, as well as procedures to ensure responding is under control of both discriminative and conditional vocal verbal stimuli. The current study systematically reviewed research articles on intraverbal training methods for individuals with ASD published and available from 2005 to 2016. The purpose of the review was to assess the extent to which divergent and convergent control was incorporated into training and to determine whether systematic instruction ensured correct verbal conditional discriminations. Thirty-six studies met inclusion criteria and were included in this reviewed. A total of 5 studies taught intraverbal responding under divergent control and 21 taught responding under convergent control. Two studies sufficiently described procedures to ensure accurate verbal conditional discriminations across trials. The results highlight the need for additional research on systematic teaching procedures for complex intraverbal repertoires.


Wed, 31 May 2017, 5:00 pm


Teaching Problem Explanations Using Instructive Feedback

Abstract

Instructive feedback (IF) is a procedure in which extra information is presented to a participant during the consequence portion of instruction for other skills. Previous research has demonstrated that participants with intellectual disabilities may acquire a portion of non-targeted skills (secondary targets) without explicit instruction when extra information is presented. Previous research has demonstrated that IF has resulted in more efficient instruction for participants with disabilities as a whole. However, few studies have focused on participants with autism spectrum disorders (ASDs). Additionally, the measures of secondary target acquisition in past research have focused solely on discrete responses (e.g., one-word utterances). The current investigation extended the IF literature related to participants with ASD by including longer verbal responses as secondary targets and assessing maintenance for both primary and secondary targets. Across three participants, IF resulted in the acquisition of at least a portion of secondary targets without explicit teaching. For two participants, additional instruction was required before IF resulted in acquisition of secondary targets. Across all three participants, gains observed for both primary and secondary targets in intervention were maintained.


Wed, 31 May 2017, 5:00 pm


Function-Altering Effects of Rule Phrasing in the Modulation of Instructional Control

Abstract

This study evaluated the effects of four instructional variants on instruction following under changing reinforcement schedules using an operant task based on Hackenberg and Joker’s Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior, 62, 367–383 (1994) experimental preparation. Sixteen college-aged adults served as participants and were randomly assigned to one of four instruction conditions (directive, generic, non-directive, and control). Results suggest textual verbal behavior modulated instruction following. Specifically, directive and generic instructions produced greater levels of instructional control and relatively lower levels of schedule control compared to non-directive instructions. Thus, participants in the directive and generic groups responded in accordance with the instructions even when schedules of reinforcement favored deviation from the instructed pattern. In contrast, participants in the non-directive group responded toward the optimal pattern. In the control condition, participant responding was variable but toward the optimal pattern. Findings are interpreted within the framework of Skinner’s analysis of verbal behavior and formulation of rule governance.


Wed, 31 May 2017, 5:00 pm


An annotated bibliography of articles in the Journal of Speech and Language Pathology-Applied Behavior Analysis

Abstract

The open-source Journal of Speech and Language Pathology-Applied Behavior Analysis (JSLP-ABA) was published online from 2006 to 2010. We present an annotated bibliography of 80 articles published in the now-defunct journal with the aim of representing its scholarly content to readers of The Analysis of Verbal Behavior. We hope this effort will stimulate discussion, research, and treatment applications with respect to disorders of speech, language, hearing, swallowing, and voice and that collaborative efforts may be fostered between the two professions represented by JSLP-ABA: speech-language pathology and applied behavior analysis.


Wed, 31 May 2017, 5:00 pm


On the Social Validity of Behavior-Analytic Communication: a Call for Research and Description of One Method

Abstract

It has often been suggested that nonexperts find the communication of behavior analysts to be viscerally off-putting. We argue that this concern should be the focus of systematic research rather than mere discussion, and describe five studies that illustrate how publicly available lists of word-emotion ratings can be used to estimate the responses of general-audience listeners. Our results provide support for the hypothesis that some of the ways in which behavior analysts tend to discuss their discipline can be unpleasant, but also illustrate inter- and intraindividual variations in pleasantness. Although our methods are atypical for behavior-analytic research, they are appropriate to the topic and sufficient to suggest many directions for additional research through which a field that considers itself sophisticated in matters of verbal behavior might shed light on its own disciplinary communication challenges.


Wed, 31 May 2017, 5:00 pm


An Assessment of Three Procedures to Teach Echoic Responding

Abstract

The research literature has revealed mixed outcomes on various procedures for increasing vocalizations and echoic responding in persons with disabilities (Miguel, Carr, & Michael The Analysis of Verbal Behavior, 18, 3–13, 2002; Stock, Schulze, & Mirenda The Analysis of Verbal Behavior, 24, 123–133, 2008). We examined the efficacy of an assessment procedure for identifying the most effective echoic teaching procedure to six students diagnosed autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and other developmental delays. The assessment procedure included a within-participant comparison of vocal imitation training (VIT), stimulus–stimulus pairing (SSP), and a mand-model procedure (MM). A functional analysis of the responses was conducted to determine whether responding was functionally an echoic or a mand. The results indicated that the assessment was effective in identifying a teaching procedure for five out of the six participants and that responding was established under echoic control. These outcomes support the efficacy of this assessment procedure for identifying effective echoic teaching procedures.


Wed, 31 May 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.


Mon, 3 Apr 2017, 5:00 pm