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Effects of dictation-taking and match-to-sample training on listing and spelling responses in adults with intellectual disabilities


  • This research was conducted in partial fulfillment of the first author's requirements for the Master of Science degree in Behavior Analysis and Therapy. We express enormous gratitude to Caio Miguel and four anonymous reviewers who helped shape the conceptual foundation of this manuscript. We also thank Tracy Tufenk for assistance with data collection and Paulo Meirelles for assistance with computer programming.


Several studies have demonstrated that conditions can be arranged to promote increases in a nontargeted verbal operant following instruction of another verbal operant. In the current study, we used a multiple baseline design to evaluate the effects of 2 instructional protocols on nontargeted verbal repertoires (listing of synonyms and vocal spelling of these synonyms) in adults with intellectual disabilities. In Experiment 1, participants were instructed in taking dictation and were tested for the vocal spelling of the words taught during instruction. In Experiment 2, participants were taught to match printed words to their printed synonyms and tested for the vocal spelling and listing of synonyms. In both experiments, interventions promoted increases in nontargeted verbal skills.