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Degrees of Bidirectional Naming Are Related to Derived Listener and Speaker Responses

Abdool-Ghany, Faheema

Incidental language acquisition has been a topic of interest in the field of education, cognitive psychology, and behavior analysis (Horne & Lowe, 1996; Carey & Bartlett, 1978; Greer & Speckman, 2009). Researchers in the area of verbal behavior and derived relations have developed multiple perspectives that overlap in many ways (Greer & Ross, 2008; Greer & Speckman, 2009; Hayes, Barnes-Holmes, and Roche, 2001). Despite the overlap of these perspectives, research to date has been conducted independently. Fienup (2019) acknowledges the overlap in the respective work and suggest that integration can produce a more cohesive and comprehensive understanding of the development of verbal behavior. Study 1 included two experiments. In Experiment 1, the experimenter exposed 14 preschoolers with varying degrees of bidirectional naming (3 classified as having bidirectional naming (BiN), 8 as having unidirectional naming (UniN), and 3 as having no incidental naming (NiN) to two conditions, 1) directly reinforcing speaker (tact) responses and testing for the emergence of listener (point to) responses, and 2) directly reinforcing listener responses and testing for the emergence of speaker responses. The experimenter rotated between two conditions. Results suggested that participants with BiN readily derived speaker and listener responses, participants with unidirectional naming (UniN) readily derived listener, but not speaker responses, and participants with NiN had difficulty acquiring directly reinforced responses and deriving responses. In Study 1 Experiment 2, six participants with unidirectional naming (UniN) were selected from Experiment 1. Multiple Exemplar Instruction (MEI) and stimulus-stimulus pairing procedures were implemented to induce the capability of BiN. Following the acquisition of BiN, the experimenter replicated the repeated measure design of directly reinforcing speaker or listener responses and testing for the emergence of corresponding responses. Upon the acquisition of BiN, participants derived both listener and speaker relations, suggesting that the development from UniN to BiN is associated with the stimulus control for speaker responses following direct reinforcement for listener responses. Study 2 addressed the limitations of Study 1 and replicated the procedures with new participants and new science educational content. The experimenter selected 6 participants that demonstrated BiN and 5 that demonstrated UniN. Data support the findings of Study 1, suggesting that degrees of bidirectional naming are associated with degrees of derived relational responding.


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More About This Work

Academic Units
Applied Behavior Analysis
Thesis Advisors
Fienup, Daniel
Ph.D., Columbia University
Published Here
July 1, 2020