An evaluation of textual prompts and generalized textual instruction-following

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

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


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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