"A Comparison of Prompt Delays with Trial and Error Instruction in Conditional Discrimination Training"

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Many prompting procedures exist for teaching skills to individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder and Intellectual Disability; however, direct comparisons between variations of prompt delay are rarely made. Here we compared three variations of prompt delay (2-s or 5-s constant delay and 5-s progressive delay) alongside trial and error instruction. Four learners were taught a conditional discrimination task using a match-to-sample arrangement. Performances were compared using effectiveness and efficiency measures in an adapted alternating treatments design. A procedural modification, in the form of differential reinforcement, was applied to the prompt delay procedure for two of the four participants. Despite this procedural modification, results suggest progressive prompt delay may be effective and most efficient in reducing learner errors during instruction.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)370–380
Number of pages11
JournalBehavior Analysis In Practice
Issue number4
Early online date23 May 2018
Publication statusPublished - 31 Dec 2018



  • ASD
  • Prompts
  • Delayed prompts
  • Trial and error

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