Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy



First Advisor

Dr. Cynthia J. Pietras

Second Advisor

Dr. James E. Carr

Third Advisor

Dr. Scott Gaynor

Fourth Advisor

Dr. Anna Petursdottir


The results of the present study extend the literature on multiple exemplar instruction (MEI) by demonstrating that MEI was ineffective in producing functional interdependence between listener and intraverbal categorization repertoires. Four typically developing children between the ages of 3 years 11 months and 4 years 7 months participated in the study in which two categorization types (listener and intraverbal) were targeted. Previous research has demonstrated functional independence between these two categorization response forms (Petursdottir, Carr, Lechago, & Almason, 2008). The present study examined the efficacy of MEI in the form of alternating categorization response forms (listener and intraverbal) during training in producing emergent intraverbal categorization responding after training listener categorization responses. For two participants for whom there was some evidence of functional interdependence between listener and intraverbal categorization repertoires, responding was variable. For the remaining two participants, 72 to 100 MEI training trials produced minimal improvement in responding or no functional interdependence at all. The results are discussed in terms of Skinner's analysis of verbal behavior and naming theory (Horne & Lowe, 1996).

Access Setting

Dissertation-Open Access