The Behavior Analyst

, Volume 11, Issue 2, pp 115–129 | Cite as

Toward an Explicit Analysis of Generalization: A Stimulus Control Interpretation

  • Kimberly C. Kirby
  • Warren K. Bickel


Producing generality of treatment effects to new settings has been a critical concern for applied behavior analysts, but a systematic and reliable means of producing generality has yet to be provided. We argue that the principles of stimulus control and reinforcement underlie the production of most generalized effects; therefore, we suggest interpreting generalization programming in terms of stimulus control. The generalization programming procedures identified by Stokes and Baer (1977) are discussed in terms of both the stimulus control tactics explicitly identified and those that may be operating but are not explicitly identified. Our interpretation clarifies the critical components of Stokes and Baer’s procedures and places greater emphasis on planning for generalization as a part of training procedures.

Key words

generalized effects generalization programming maintenance quantal interpretation stimulus control stimulus generalization 


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Copyright information

© Association for Behavior Analysis International 1988

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kimberly C. Kirby
    • 1
  • Warren K. Bickel
    • 2
    • 3
  1. 1.School of MedicineJohns Hopkins UniversityBaltimoreUSA
  2. 2.School of MedicineUniversity of VermontBurlingtonUSA
  3. 3.Department of PsychiatryUniversity of Vermont College of MedicineBurlingtonUSA

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