The Analysis of Verbal Behavior

, Volume 32, Issue 2, pp 154–170 | Cite as

Emergence of Intraverbal Responding Following Tact Instruction with Compound Stimuli

  • Bailey Devine
  • Charlotte L. Carp
  • Kiley A. Hiett
  • Anna Ingeborg Petursdottir
Special Section: The Intraverbal Relation


Effective intraverbal responding often requires control by multiple elements of a verbal stimulus. The purpose of this study was to examine the emergence of such intraverbal relations following tact instruction with compound stimuli and to analyze any resulting error patterns. Participants were seven typically developing children between 3 and 5 years of age. After being taught to tact four overlapping compound stimuli that differed along color and shape dimensions, participants were tested for emergent intraverbal responding. Three participants performed with high accuracy and four with intermediate accuracy when correct intraverbal responding required control by multiple elements (i.e., color names and shape names) of the verbal stimulus. Five participants performed with high accuracy when intraverbal responding required control by only a single stimulus element, and all participants showed emergence of reverse intraverbal relations when the response required naming only a single stimulus element (i.e., color or shape). There was an insufficient number of errors to perform detailed error analyses at the individual level, but overall, the first element of a verbal stimulus was more likely to exert control over the response than the second element, and color words were more likely to exert control than shape words. Results suggest that individual stimulus elements acquired independent control over the responses that had been established as tacts.


Intraverbal Stimulus control Tact 


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Copyright information

© Association for Behavior Analysis International 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Bailey Devine
    • 1
  • Charlotte L. Carp
    • 1
    • 2
  • Kiley A. Hiett
    • 1
  • Anna Ingeborg Petursdottir
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyTexas Christian UniversityFort WorthUSA
  2. 2.McNeese State UniversityLake CharlesUSA
  3. 3.Baylor UniversityWacoUSA

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