The Analysis of Verbal Behavior

, Volume 29, Issue 1, pp 101–108 | Cite as

Effects of a Differential Observing Response on Intraverbal Performance of Preschool Children: A Preliminary Investigation

  • April N. Kisamore
  • Amanda M. Karsten
  • Charlotte C. Mann
  • Kerry Ann Conde
Brief Report


Axe (2008) speculated that some instances of intraverbal responding might be associated with limited or delayed acquisition because they require discrimination of multiple components of verbal stimuli. Past studies suggest that acquisition of responses under control of complex, multicomponent antecedent stimuli (e.g., conditional or compound stimulus control) can be facilitated with the introduction of a differential observing response (DOR; Dube & McIlvane, 1999; Gutowski, Geren, Stromer, & Mackay, 1995). The purpose of the current study was to evaluate the effects of a DOR (i.e., repeating the question) on intraverbal responding with six neurotypical preschool children. Findings included that (a) accuracy of intraverbal performance increased when the experimenter prompted a DOR; (b) 1 of 6 participants overtly emitted the DOR for a second relation in the absence of prompts, which was correlated with increased accuracy; and (c) following mastery, response accuracy was variable for 3 participants. Based on these findings, prompted DORs may offer an effective, if temporary, aid to intraverbal instruction for neurotypical preschool children.

Key words

differential observing response discrimination training intraverbal responses preschool children verbal behavior 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Axe, J. B. (2008). Conditional discrimination in the intraverbal relation: A review and recommendations for future research. The Analysis of Verbal behavior, 24, 159–174.PubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  2. Braam, S. J., & Poling, A. (1983). Development of intraverbal behavior in mentally retarded individuals through transfer of stimulus control procedures: Classification of verbal responses. Applied Research in Mental Retardation, 4, 279–302.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  3. Dube, W. V., & McIlvane, W. J. (1999). Reduction of stimulus overselectivity with nonverbal differential observing responses. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 32, 25–33.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  4. Dunn, L. M. & Dunn, D. M. (2007). Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test, Fourth Edition (PPVT-4). Bloomington, MN: Pearson.Google Scholar
  5. Fjellstrom, G. G., Born, D. B., & Baer, D. M. (1988). Some effects of telling preschool children to self-question in a matching task. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 46, 419–437.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Gutowski, S. J., Geren, M., Stromer, R., & Mackay, H. A. (1995). Restricted stimulus control in delayed matching to complex samples: A preliminary analysis of the role of naming. Experimental Analysis of Human Behavior Bulletin, 13, 18–24.Google Scholar
  7. Kisamore, A. N., Carr, J. E., & LeBlanc, L. A. (2011). Training preschool children to use visual imagining as a problemsolving strategy for complex categorization tasks. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 44, 255–278.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  8. Litrownik, A. J., McInnis, E. T., Wetzel-Pritchard, A. M., & Filipelli, D. L. (1978). Restricted stimulus control and inferred attentional deficits in autistic and retarded children. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 87, 554–562.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  9. Martin, N. A. & Brownell, R. (2011). Expressive One-Word Picture Vocabulary Test, Fourth Edition (EOWPVT-4). Multi-Health Systems.Google Scholar
  10. Palmer, D. C. (1991). A behavioral interpretation of memory. In L. J. Hayes & P. N. Chase (Eds.), Dialogues on verbal behavior (. 261–279). Reno, NV: Context Press.Google Scholar
  11. Partington, J. W., & Bailey, J. S. (1993). Teaching intraverbal behavior to preschool children. The Analysis of Verbal behavior, 11, 9–18.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  12. Saunders, K. J., & Spradlin, J. E. (1990). Conditional discrimination in mentally retarded adults: The development of generalized skills. Journal of the Experimental Analysis of behavior, 54, 239–250.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  13. Sautter, R. A., LeBlanc, L. A., Jay, A. A., Goldsmith, T. R., & Carr, J. E. (2011). The role of problem solving in complex intraverbal repertoires. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 44, 227–244.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  14. Skinner, B. F. (1968). The technology of teaching. New York: Appleton-Century-Crofts.Google Scholar
  15. Sundberg, M. L., & Michael, J. (2001). The benefits of Skinner’s analysis of verbal behavior for children with autism. Behavior Modification, 25, 698–724.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  16. Sundberg, M. L., & Sundberg, C. A. (2011). Intraverbal behavior and verbal conditional discriminations in typically developing children and children with autism. The Analysis of Verbal behavior, 27, 23–43.PubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Association of Behavior Analysis International 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • April N. Kisamore
    • 1
  • Amanda M. Karsten
    • 1
  • Charlotte C. Mann
    • 1
    • 2
  • Kerry Ann Conde
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyWestern New England UniversitySpringfieldUSA
  2. 2.New England Center for ChildenUSA

Personalised recommendations