"Spontaneous" transfer of stimulus control from tact to mand contingencies

Jeff Sigafoos, Joe E Reichle, Scott Doss, Kristi Hall, Lisa Pettitt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

40 Scopus citations


An important issue in teaching verbal behavior to persons with severe handicaps is the transfer of stimulus control from tact (e.g., naming) to mand (e.g., requesting) relationships. Previous research has shown that topographies taught as tacts frequently fail to appear as mands unless transfer between these two response classes is explicitly programmed. Procedures promoting this transfer would provide a necessary instructional tool. Transfer from tact to mand contingencies was investigated in two adults with severe mental retardation. Correct pointing responses to line drawing symbols depicting the utensils required to access previously requested food (beverage) items were assessed prior to and following tact intervention. Mands for two of three utensils emerged following tact intervention. The results suggest transfer from tact variables to the conditioned establishing operation may be facilitated by the prior development of a minimal mand repertoire.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)165-176
Number of pages12
JournalResearch in Developmental Disabilities
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1990

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Preparation of this work was supportcd in part by Contract No. 300-82-0363 awarded IO Ihe University of Minnesota from the Division of Innovation and Development. Special Education Programs, U.S. Department of Education. The opinions expressed herein do not necessarily reflect the position or policy of the U.S. Department of Education. and no official endorsement should be inferred.


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