Emergent completion of multistep instructions via joint control

Megan E. Vosters, Kevin C. Luczynski

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Teaching procedures that facilitate the emergence of novel responses allow for increased efficiency, which is critical when providing early-intervention services to children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Three 5- and 6-year-old children diagnosed with ASD participated. In Experiment 1, we demonstrated functional control over the effects of teaching echoic rehearsals on the emergence of completing novel two-step instructions via joint control and obtained generalization and maintenance of the effects in an applied, nontraining context. In Experiment 2, we conducted an experimental analysis of joint control by disrupting rehearsal of the instruction and tacts of the objects in the instruction, which served as the sources of joint control. Our results support the efficacy of the procedures for establishing first-trial performance with novel instructions and indicate that joint control is responsible for the emergent performance produced by our teaching procedures.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1432-1451
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of applied behavior analysis
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 1 2020


  • autism spectrum disorders
  • emergent responding
  • instruction following
  • joint control
  • mediating behavior
  • rehearsals

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Philosophy
  • Applied Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science


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