Encyclopedia of Autism Spectrum Disorders

Living Edition
| Editors: Fred R. Volkmar

Disguised Mands

  • Patricio ErhardEmail author
  • Russell Lang
  • Mandy Rispoli
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4614-6435-8_102318-1


As described in the mand section of this encyclopedia, mands (a term derived from command, demand, counterdemand) are typically emitted from one person to another and yield a specific consequence (Skinner 1957, p. 53). For example, if a person said, “I want a cookie” to another person, and it led to the delivery of a cookie, such exchange may be considered a mand. Unlike this example, when a mand does not directly state the specific intended consequence, the mand is called a disguised mand. Disguised mands are “responses that are under the control of an establishing operation (e.g., deprivation from cookies) and a discriminative stimulus (e.g., the presence of a listener) but the response does not specify the reinforcing consequence (e.g., access to cookies)” (Najdowski et al. 2017). In short, statements from one person to another, such as “I feel hot” or “I’m thirsty,” may be considered disguised mands because they do not directly indicate a specific desired consequence....

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References and Readings

  1. American Psychiatric Association. (2013). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (5th ed.). Arlington: American Psychiatric Association.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Erhard, P. (2019). Teaching children with autism to respond to disguised mands and body language cues. Symposium on Addressing the Needs of Children with Autism Across Social, Academic, and Behavioral Domains in the Annual Association for Behavior Analysis International Conference, Chicago, IL, May 2019.Google Scholar
  3. Najdowski, A. C., Bergstrom, R., Tarbox, J., & Clair, M. S. (2017). Teaching children with autism to respond to disguised mands. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 50, 733–743.  https://doi.org/10.1002/jaba.413.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  4. Skinner, B. F. (1957). Century psychology series. Verbal behavior. East Norwalk: Appleton-Century-Crofts.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of TexasAustinUSA
  2. 2.Clinic for Autism Research Evaluation and SupportTexas State UniversitySan MarcosUSA
  3. 3.Purdue UniversityWest LafayetteUSA