Author

Dillon

Date of Award

6-2007

Degree Name

Master of Arts

Department

Psychology

First Advisor

Dr. Linda LeBlanc

Second Advisor

Dr. James E. Carr

Third Advisor

Dr. R. Wayne Fuqua

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Open Access

Abstract

Skinner's taxonomy of verbal operants defines language in functional terms specifying the relevant controlling variables in terms of antecedent and consequent influences. A mand for information is a request for a specific verbal response that has momentarily high reinforcing value due to the presence of an establishing operation. Contrived establishing operations have been used for teaching mands for information, however, researchers have not yet investigated the effects of using video modeling to teach mands for information to children with autism. This study investigated the effects of video modeling with a contrived establishing operation for teaching two children with autism to mand for information using a multiple baseline design across participants. Video modeling was ineffective in establishing the mand for information for both participants, however, an in vivo vocal prompt was effective in conjunction with the contrived establishing operation. These results illustrate two instances in which video modeling was ineffective and replicate the effects of contriving establishing operations and using an in vivo vocal prompt to teach mands for information (Sundberg, Loeb, Hale, & Eigenheer, 2002).

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