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MANDS FOR INFORMATION GENERALIZE ACROSS ESTABLISHING OPERATIONS

Authors


  • This article is based on a thesis submitted by the first author, under the supervision of the second author, in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the MA degree in psychology. We thank Jack Michael, Linda LeBlanc, and David Palmer for their helpful comments on an earlier version of the manuscript. We also thank Kelly Stone, Kelsey Behnke, Sadie Lovett, Adam Freeman, Laura Barnes, Laura Keinath, Nick Vandervliet, Abby Mercure, Amanda Smith, Jacquelyn Hoag, Tracy Lepper, Catrina Litzenberg, Stacy Ruse, and Amanda Stencel for their assistance with data collection, and Pat Oldham, Lori Sebright, Jessica Roberts, Tanya Beck, Bethany Kreps, Kathy Chambers, and Trish Walters for their on-site support.

Address correspondence to James E. Carr, who is now at the Department of Psychology, 226 Thach Hall, Auburn University, Alabama 36849 (e-mail: carr@auburn.edu).

Abstract

The current study extends the literature on teaching mands for information by assessing whether mands generalize across different establishing operations (EOs). Three children with autism were taught to perform multiple behavior chains, 3 of which included a common response (e.g., “Where is the spoon?”) used for different purposes. An interrupted-behavior-chain procedure was used to contrive the EO for each mand. After teaching a mand for information under 1 EO, the remaining chains were interrupted to determine whether the mand had generalized to different EOs. For all participants, mands for information generalized across EOs. For 2 participants, a new mand-for-information topography emerged after training.

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