Echoics, Mands, Tacts

The Echoic is a verbal operant that is present when a person verbally repeats what another person says.  Echoic is a point-to-point correspondence meaning that the verbal stimulus and response products match in entirety. Motor imitation is related to echoics and can be a stepping stone to learning echoic behavior.  Echoics are a precursor to other verbal operants, such as Tact and Mand and are essential component in a learner’s verbal behavior (Cooper, Heron & Howard, 2007, p.531).

The Mand is verbal behavior where a speaker asks for something that he or she wants.  Mands occur when there is a motivating operation (MO) for something and the reinforcement is the acquisition of that thing directly related to that MO.  Mands are one of the first verbal operants acquired by a child and are essential to behavior management as learning to mand for an item can decrease undesired behaviors in order to acquire that item (Cooper, 2007, p. 530).

Mand training involves moving from stimulus control to motivating operation control.

Tacts are a verbal operant where the speaker labels things in the environment.  Tacts occur when a non-verbal stimulus is presented which becomes a discriminative stimulus (Sd) via discrimination training.  When the Tact produces generalized conditioned reinforcement, it becomes under functional control of the nonverbal discriminative stimulus (Cooper, 2007, p. 530).

Cooper, J.O., Heron, T.E., Heward, W.L., (2007) Applied Behavior Analysis Second Edition.
Upper Saddle River, New Jersey, Columbus, Ohio: Person Merrill Prentice Hall

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  1. Verbal Behavior - Excellent Tutors says:

    […] that have different objectives. According to Skinner, the basic verbal parts of language include echoics, mands, tacts, and intraverbals. The term ‘mand’ refers to the child demanding or requesting what he […]

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