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Theses Doctoral

The Effect of Bidirectional and Unidirectional Naming on Learning in New Ways and the Relation Between Bidirectional Naming and Basic Relational Concepts for Preschool Students

Frank, Madeline Rose

Bidirectional Naming (BiN) is the reliable demonstration of incidentally learned word-object relations as both a listener and speaker. In Experiment I, a pilot study, I tested the effects of the establishment of BiN on the rate of learning new math and reading operants under baseline Standard Learn Unit (SLU) and Instructional Demonstration Learn Unit (IDLU) conditions. I conducted a combined multiple probe and counterbalanced ABAB/BABA reversal design across participant dyads, for which each participant’s rate of acquisition was compared under the IDLU and SLU conditions before and after the acquisition of BiN. Four participants diagnosed with developmental delays were selected for the study due to the assessed absence of both the listener and speaker components of the BiN capability. Intensive Tact Instruction (ITI) and Multiple Exemplar Instruction (MEI) were used to establish BiN. After the acquisition of BiN, all four participants demonstrated accelerated rates of learning reading and math objectives when provided the opportunity to observe a model (via IDLU instruction) prior to an instructional session, indicating a functional relation between the acquisition of BiN and the acceleration of learning via teacher-modeled instruction. In Experiment II, a demonstration study, 5 preschool students with a disability were selected following BiN probe trials and were grouped according to their BiN repertoires. A combined ABAB/BABA reversal design across learning objectives and BiN level was used to compare the rate of learning new speaker (i.e., tact) and listener (i.e., point-to) tasks across SLU and IDLU conditions. Results replicated previous findings wherein students with BiN in repertoire learned at an accelerated rate when provided IDLU instruction as compared to SLU instruction; further, participants with only the listener component of Naming (Unidirectional Naming; UniN) displayed accelerated learning under IDLU conditions for listener tasks, but not for speaker tasks. Results across both Experiments I and II indicate that students’ acquisition of the BiN capability (joint stimulus control across speaking and listening) is an essential verbal developmental capability for learning through the observation of a model in a standard classroom instructional setting. In Experiment III, a group correlational design was used to analyze the relation between students’ BiN scores and performance during the Boehm Test of Basic Concepts 3rd Edition – Preschool Version (BTBC3-P) (Boehm, 2001). Results demonstrated that a significant positive correlation exists between BiN and BTBC3-P assessment scores (p (42) = .341, p = .027). These data indicate that a student’s degree of BiN is a potential predictor of success on measures of basic concept knowledge, adding to findings from Experiments I and II that BiN is functionally related to learning at an accelerated rate and via observation.


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More About This Work

Academic Units
Applied Behavior Analysis
Thesis Advisors
Greer, Robert D.
Ph.D., Columbia University
Published Here
May 14, 2018