An Operant Pursuit of Generalization - Republished Article

Behav Ther. 2016 Sep;47(5):720-732. doi: 10.1016/j.beth.2016.08.012.


We outline some principles and tactics which are recommended as likely to facilitate the occurrence of generalization and maintenance in programs of clinical importance. In general, clinicians and researchers would do well to implement and analyze procedures that follow the generalization programming principles of exploiting current functional contingencies, training diversely, and incorporating functional mediators. More specifically, the tactical armamentarium should include contacting natural consequences, recruiting natural consequences, modifying maladaptive consequences, reinforcing occurrences of generalization, using sufficient stimulus exemplars, using sufficient response exemplars, making antecedents less discriminable, making consequences less discriminable, incorporating common salient physical stimuli, incorporating common salient social stimuli, incorporating self-mediated physical stimuli, and incorporating self-mediated verbal and covert stimuli.