The Analysis of Verbal Behavior

, Volume 23, Issue 1, pp 113–122 | Cite as

A Comparison of Topography-based and Selection-based Verbal Behavior in Typically Developed Children and Developmentally Disabled Persons with Autism



This study is a replication of Sundberg and Sundberg (1990) that compared topography-based verbal behavior with selection-based verbal behavior in terms of acquisition, accuracy, and testing for the emergence of a new verbal relation. Participants were three typical children and three developmentally disabled persons with autism. The study sought to determine which paradigm (topography-based or selection-based) resulted in more rapid acquisition of tacts and intraverbals, which was associated with the fewest errors, and which paradigm resulted in the emergence of the highest number of new verbal relations. The results of the study showed that the six participants performed quite differently from one another. Most importantly, the results from the person with autism contradicted previous findings favoring selection-based verbal behavior over topography-based approaches for teaching verbal behavior to low-functioning individuals.

Key words

topography-based vb selection-based vb typically developed children children with autism 


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Copyright information

© Association of Behavior Analysis International 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Stavanger Hospital TrustHabilitation ServicesSandnesNorway

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