An evaluation of textual prompts and generalized textual instruction-following

Cara L. Phillips, Timothy R. Vollmer, Allen Porter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


The benefit of permanent prompts depends on the extent to which their use is generalized. Previous research has demonstrated both control by and efficacy of pictorial prompts (e.g., Phillips & Vollmer, 2012). The present studies similarly evaluated stimulus control by textual prompts. Six school aged children with intellectual disabilities were taught to complete four 5-step instructional sets under the control of textual prompts. All 6 subjects showed some generalization to the final set. The results suggest that training served 1 of 3 purposes: (a) established control by the textual prompts or the ordinal sequence thereof, (b) addressed a reading deficit, or (c) addressed the lack of a motivating operation during baseline. Training a single task sequence may not be sufficient for acquisition of generalized textual instruction-following. However, establishing appropriate stimulus control by the textual prompts may facilitate acquisition of a generalized repertoire.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1140-1160
Number of pages21
JournalJournal of applied behavior analysis
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 1 2019


  • generalized instruction-following
  • intellectual disabilities
  • stimulus control
  • textual prompts

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Philosophy
  • Applied Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science

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