Mands for information using “who?” and “which?” in the presence of establishing and abolishing operations


  • We thank Brittany Lee and Francine White for their assistance with data collection.


Treatments designed to teach mands for information have included prompting and differential reinforcement, as well as procedures to manipulate the relevant establishing operation (EO). However, previous studies have not included relevant abolishing operation (AO) conditions to ensure that the mand is under relevant antecedent control. Data on listener responses (i.e., use of the information) are also absent in the literature. The current study shows differential responding under EO and AO conditions and reports listener responses that demonstrate use of the provided information. Three participants, diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder, learned to mand for information using “who?” and “which?” questions exclusively under EO conditions. In addition, each participant responded to the information provided to access a preferred item. Generalization of the “which?” mand for information was also demonstrated across novel stimuli.