Date of Award

8-1-2011

Degree Name

Master of Science

Department

Behavior Analysis and Therapy

First Advisor

Rehfeldt, Ruth Anne

Abstract

Skinner (1957) attested that the acquisition of one type of verbal operant will not necessarily occasion the emergence of another type of verbal response topography. In contrast, several studies have shown that multiple exemplar training (MET) is a mechanism that can facilitate the emergence of untrained operants, and it has been considered a powerful tool for establishing generalized operant responses also known as derived relational responses in the language of Relational Frame Theory (RFT). Using a multiple probe design across participants, the current study evaluated the effects of two training protocols in the emergence of untaught intraverbal responses (listing and vocal spelling of words). In Experiment 1, four participants diagnosed with intellectual disability were trained in taking dictation responses and tested for the emergence of intraverbal responses in the form of vocal spelling of words. In Experiment 2, three out of the four participants were trained to relate three sets of three synonyms each using a conditional discrimination training. The results demonstrated that the training procedures used during both experiments were effective in occasioning the emergence of untrained intraverbal responses. It was suggested that participants should have had a history of MET through the course of their academic life which facilitated the emergence of different intraverbal responses in this study.

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