Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy



First Advisor

Dr. Richard W. Malott

Second Advisor

Dr. Ron Van Houten

Third Advisor

Dr. Alan Poling

Fourth Advisor

Dr. Steven Ragotzy


Three strategies to train receptive identification of pictures were compared: (a) trial and error, (b) delayed finger-point prompt followed by a reinforcer, and (c) delayed finger-point prompt followed by the spoken word, "good". These three strategies were compared using a multi-element design, assessing the performance of four children, ranging from two to four years of age, selected from a classroom that provides services to children with Early Childhood Developmental Delays (ECDD). Two children mastered the receptive identification of pictures at the same rate regardless of the strategy. For the remaining two participants, the rate of mastery was the same for both of the prompting strategies, but for one child the rate of mastery was much slower with trial and error and for the other child the skill was never acquired with trial and error. Additionally, there was no difference between prompting strategies, suggesting that the reinforcement of prompted responses did not hinder the rate of mastery for all four children. While it was not the focus of the study, generalized receptive identification data were also presented for two of the children. Both of the children two tested for generalization acquired at least some concept generalization.

Access Setting

Dissertation-Open Access