CHRISTINA BURK

					                                CH R IS T INA B UR K, M .A.
                                     Consulting Behavior Analyst

                          Summary of Relevant Primary Verbal Operants
                                                and
                        Introductory Strategies of Applied Verbal Behavior


STIMULUS -STIMULUS P AIRING (Pairing one self with positi ve reinforcement): When
beginning a new teacher-learner relations hip, it is important that the learner be motivated to
interact with and learn from the teacher. Also, in preexisting teacher -learner relations hips,
sometimes the teaching has unintentionally acquired an aversive quality that must be reversed if
the learner is to work and learn appropriately. One effective means of accomplishing both of
these goals is to pair the teacher with positive reinforcement. This involves having the teacher
initially deliver nonc ontingent reinforcement (reinforcement is given freely, not based on any
particular behavior of the learner). After this period of noncontingent reinforcement, easy
demands are gradually introduced, followed eventually by more difficult demands, although
through errorless learning, even the more difficult tasks are achievable for the learner. (See Yoon
et al., The Analysis of Verbal Behavior, Vol. 17, 2001.)


ERRORLESS LEARNI NG: A prompting method in which t he rate of learner errors is reduced to
a zero or near-zero level. The teacher will present an antecedent, give a delay o f typically two to
three seconds, in order to allow the learner an opportunity to respond independently, and then
prompt the correct response as necessary. The type of prompt used depends on t he learner’s
current repertoire. Immediately after this prompted t rial, a transfer trial is delivered, in which the
same antec edent is represented but without the prompt or with the use of a less -intrusive prompt.
This prevents the learner from bec oming prompt dependent. Transfer trial s are critically
important: For every prompted trial the student completes, you MUST immediately attempt
a trial that is unprompted or less prompted.


POSITIVE REINFORCEMENT: The rate of behavior increases after being immediately followed
by the presentation of a stimulus.


NEGATIVE REINFORCEMENT: The rate of behavior increases after being immediately followed
by the removal of a stimulus.


POSITIVE PUNISHMENT: The rate of behavior decreases after being immediately followed by
the presentation of a stimulus.


NEGATIVE PUNISHMENT: The rate of behavior decreases after being immediately followed by
the removal of a stimulus.


ESTABLIS HING OP ERATION (EO): An EO is a condition of deprivation or aversion that bot h:
   1. Moment arily/temporarily alters (usually increases ) the value of some reinforcer AND
   2. Increases the likelihood t hat all behavior that has produced the reinforcer in the past will
      occur.

                Establishing operations are the most important motivational variable in language
                 training.
                EOs are especially important in mand teaching.



           2 8 0 N O R T H C E N T R A L A V E N U E • S U IT E 1 5 • H A R T S D A L E , N Y • 1 0 5 3 0
                W E B : W W W . C H R IS T IN A B U R K A B A . C O M • P H O N E : ( 9 1 4 ) 7 6 1 - 4 2 2 5
                F A X : ( 9 1 4 ) 7 6 1 - 4 5 3 5 • E M A IL : C H R IS T IN A B U R K A B A @ A O L . C O M
CHRISTINA BURK, M.A.                           – 2–           INTRODUCT IO N TO VERBAL BEHAVIOR



Example:
You want a student to ask for juice. Y ou begin by feeding the student salty foods. The
consumption of salt increases the EO for a drink. The student asks for juice because the value of
a drink has been temporarily increased by the thirst-inducing salt (1) and because asking for juice
in the past has produc ed access to juice (2). Once the student has finished the juice, however,
he is no longer thirsty; therefore, the EO for juice is lost for the time being.


MAND: Verbal behavior in which the form of the response is controlled by the motivational or
aversive condition that determined the behavior. Mands specify their own reinforcer (“I s ay it, I
get it.”)

Example:
T: “What do you want?”
S: “Cookie.”
T: “Sure, here’s a cookie.”

       Mands occur when establishing operations (E Os) are strong. As in the above example,
        when you have eat en a lot of salty food and become thirsty, juice may temporarily seem
        more reinforcing. However, once you have had juice, its value as a reinforcer decreases.
        Another example is if you have a strong aversion to doing something, escape or
        avoidance of that situation is temporarily more reinforcing.
       Mands occur mainly in a state of deprivation, when access to the item for whic h you are
        manding has been limited or nonexistent. In this case, there is a strong EO for the item.
       Mands rarely occur in a state of satiation, when access to the item has been free and
        extensive. In this case, there is no EO for the item.
       Mands are usually the first verbal operant acquired since they are usually paired with
        delivery of reinforcement.


ECHOIC/MIMETIC: (V ocal and motor imitation, respectively.) V erbal behavior whose form is
controlled by someone else's verbal behavior with 1:1 correspondence. (“Y ou s ay/do it, I say/do
it.”)

Examples:
(Echoic)                                                 (Mimetic)
T: “Cookie.”                                             T: claps hands
S: “Cookie.”                                             S: claps hands
T: “Great job!”                                          T: “Excellent !”

       A strong echoic repertoire is c ritical for teaching other verbal behavior and for shaping
        articulation.
       Echoics belong to the class of imitative behavior.
       Often teachers can strengthen ec hoics by strengthening other types of imitation (gross
        motor; fine motor; oral motor; object), since strengt hening one member of a class of
        behavior strengthens all members of that class.
       A strong mimetic repertoire benefits those students who use sign language. Improving
        other imitative repertoires can also strengthen mimetics.




www.ChristinaBurkABA.com                                                    ChristinaBurkABA@aol.com   2
CHRISTINA BURK, M.A.                             – 3–           INTRODUCT IO N TO VERBAL BEHAVIOR



TACT: Verbal behavior under the control of the nonverbal environment, which includes nouns,
adjectives, pronouns, actions, relations, etc. Tacts are reinforced with any item other than the
item tacted. (“I say it, I get something else.”)

Example:
T: “What’s this?”
S: “Cookie.”
T: “Great! Here’s a chip.”

       Mands are naturally more reinforcing than tacts, since mands, unlike tacts, specify their
        own reinforcer.
       Tacts are strengthened by social reinforcement. Tacts benefit the listener, whereas
        mands benefit the speaker.
       Tacts do not trans fer automatically to mands or int raverbals. Generally, all verbal
        operants must be taught separately.


INTRAV ERBAL: Verbal behavior under the cont rol of other verbal behavior that is strengthened
by social reinforcement; similar to tacting except that there is no visual stimulus pres ent, i.e., the
tendency to say, “Apple” when asked to name a fruit. This involves conversational language.
(“You say something, I say something related, but different.”)

Example:
T: “What’s something you eat?”
S: “Cookie.”
T: “Wonderful!”

       Fill-ins (the student fills in a blank in a phrase or song) and ans wering wh- questions are
        both forms of intraverbals.
       Intraverbal behavior is similar to tacting, except that, with intraverbals, no visual stimulus
        is present.
       Intraverbals allow conversation about stimuli when they are absent. Int raverbal behavior
        is an important part of conversation (along wit h mands for information and attention).


RECEPTIV E BY FEATURE, FUNCTION, AND CLASS (RFFC): Receptively identifying a
stimulus when given a description of a feature (characteristic), function, or class (category) of the
item, not by its name.

Example:
(Rec eptive by Feature)
T: “Show me something round.”
S: points to cookie
T: “Terrific, the cookie is round!”

(Rec eptive by Function)
T: “Point to something you eat.”
S: points to cookie
T: “That’s right, you eat cookies.”

(Rec eptive by Class)
T: “Where’s a food?”




www.ChristinaBurkABA.com                                                    ChristinaBurkABA@aol.com      3
CHRISTINA BURK, M.A.                            – 4–            INTRODUCT IO N TO VERBAL BEHAVIOR



S: points to cookie
T: “Absolutely, a cookie is food.”


TACTING BY FEATURE, FUNCTION, AND CLASS (TFFC): Expressively identifying a stimulus
when given a description of a feature (characteristic), function, or class (category) of the item, not
by its name.

Example:
(Tacting by Feature)
T: “Tell me something round.”
S: “Cookie.”
T: “Terrific, the cookie is round!”

(Tacting by Function)
T: “What’s something you eat.”
S: “Cookie.”
T: “That’s right, you eat cookies.”

(Tacting by Class)
T: “Where’s a food?”
S: “Cookie.”
T: “Absolutely, a cookie is food.”


                                          

                                       Prompting Heuri stic


(Antecedent is delivered only 1x when response is correct.)
[Stimulus is a picture of an apple]
Antecedent: “What is it?”
Behavior: “Apple.”
Cons equence: “Great!”


(Antecedent is delivered 3x when first response is incorrect.)
[Stimulus is a picture of an apple]
Antecedent: “What is it?”
Behavior: “Dog.”
Cons equence/ Antecedent: “What is it? Apple.” (ignore error, give echoic prompt)
Behavior: “Apple.”
Cons equence: “Good.” (praise only)
Antecedent: “What is it?” (trans fer trial; happens immediat ely)
Behavior: “Apple.”
Cons equence: “Great!” (plus tangible reinforcer)


(Antecedent is delivered 4x when first response and second/prompted response are inc orrect.)
[Stimulus is a picture of an apple]
Antecedent: “What is it?”




www.ChristinaBurkABA.com                                                   ChristinaBurkABA@aol.com      4
CHRISTINA BURK, M.A.                             – 5–           INTRODUCT IO N TO VERBAL BEHAVIOR



Behavior: “Dog.”
Cons equence/ Antecedent: “What is it? Apple.” (ignore error, give echoic prompt)
Behavior: “Dog.”
Cons equence/ Antecedent: “What is it? Apple.” (echoic plus holding up picture or using textual
prompt)
Behavior: “Apple.”
Cons equence: “Good.” (praise only)
Antecedent: “What is it? Apple.” (echoic only, no positional or textual) (transfer trial; immediate)
Behavior: “Apple.”
Cons equence: “Great!” (plus tangible reinforcer)


(Antecedent is delivered 5x when first response and third/trans fer trial response are inc orrect.)
[Stimulus is a picture of an apple]
Antecedent: “What is it?”
Behavior: “Dog.”
Cons equence/ Antecedent: “What is it? Apple.” (ignore error, give echoic prompt)
Behavior: “Apple.”
Cons equence: “Good.” (praise only)
Antecedent: “What is it?” (trans fer trial; happens immediat ely)
Behavior: “Dog.”
Cons equence/ Antecedent: “What is it? Apple.” (ignore error, give echoic prompt)
Behavior: “Apple.”
Cons equence: “Great!” (praise only)
Antecedent: “What is it? App-.” (partial echoic) (transfer trial; happens immediately)
Behavior: “Apple.”
Cons equence: “Great!” (plus tangible reinforcer)


                                           


                           FOR THIS AND MORE INFO ON VB, VISIT:
                                www.ChristinaBurkABA.com




www.ChristinaBurkABA.com                                                   ChristinaBurkABA@aol.com    5