The Analysis of Verbal Behavior

, Volume 28, Issue 1, pp 145–150 | Cite as

Manipulating Motivating Operations to Facilitate the Emergence of Mands for a Child With Autism

  • Barbara Janine Davis
  • SungWoo Kahng
  • Kaitlin Coryat


Research on the functional independence of verbal operants (Skinner, 1957) has demonstrated inconsistent findings. One explanation may be that these studies have not manipulated the motivating operation (MO) to facilitate the emergence of mands (Hall & Sundberg, 1987; Lamarre & Holland, 1985). In the current study, 1 participant, diagnosed with autism, was taught to tact high-preference and low-preference leisure items, and emergence of mands was tested under varying MO conditions. Results showed the emergence of mands following periods of arranged deprivation, and greater maintenance for a highly preferred relative to a less preferred stimulus. However, mands only emerged when presession tact trials were conducted. These results suggest that in a state of deprivation, transfer of stimulus control from discriminative to motivational conditions may occur without direct training.

Key words

mand tact motivating operation verbal operant autism 


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Copyright information

© Association of Behavior Analysis International 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Barbara Janine Davis
    • 1
    • 2
  • SungWoo Kahng
    • 2
    • 3
  • Kaitlin Coryat
    • 2
  1. 1.University of MarylandBaltimore CountyUSA
  2. 2.Department of Behavioral PsychologyKennedy Krieger InstituteBaltimoreUSA
  3. 3.Johns Hopkins University School of MedicineUSA

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