The Analysis of Verbal Behavior

, Volume 33, Issue 1, pp 64–79 | Cite as

Teaching Problem Explanations Using Instructive Feedback

  • Christopher A. TullisEmail author
  • Sarah E. Frampton
  • Caitlin H. Delfs
  • M. Alice Shillingsburg


Instructive feedback (IF) is a procedure in which extra information is presented to a participant during the consequence portion of instruction for other skills. Previous research has demonstrated that participants with intellectual disabilities may acquire a portion of non-targeted skills (secondary targets) without explicit instruction when extra information is presented. Previous research has demonstrated that IF has resulted in more efficient instruction for participants with disabilities as a whole. However, few studies have focused on participants with autism spectrum disorders (ASDs). Additionally, the measures of secondary target acquisition in past research have focused solely on discrete responses (e.g., one-word utterances). The current investigation extended the IF literature related to participants with ASD by including longer verbal responses as secondary targets and assessing maintenance for both primary and secondary targets. Across three participants, IF resulted in the acquisition of at least a portion of secondary targets without explicit teaching. For two participants, additional instruction was required before IF resulted in acquisition of secondary targets. Across all three participants, gains observed for both primary and secondary targets in intervention were maintained.


Autism spectrum disorder Discrete-trial-teaching Explanations Instructive feedback 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors have no declared financial conflicts of interest.

Ethics Statement

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki Declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards. Informed consent was obtained for all individuals in the study.


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Copyright information

© Association for Behavior Analysis International 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Christopher A. Tullis
    • 1
    Email author
  • Sarah E. Frampton
    • 2
  • Caitlin H. Delfs
    • 2
    • 3
  • M. Alice Shillingsburg
    • 2
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Educational Psychology, Special Education, and Communication DisordersGeorgia State UniversityAtlantaUSA
  2. 2.The Marcus Autism CenterAtlantaUSA
  3. 3.Emory University School of MedicineAtlantaUSA

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