Behavior Analysis in Practice

, Volume 12, Issue 2, pp 320–330 | Cite as

The Use of Matrix Training to Teach Color-Shape Tacts to Children with Autism

  • Sarah E. FramptonEmail author
  • Taylor M. Thompson
  • Brittany L. Bartlett
  • Bethany Hansen
  • M. Alice Shillingsburg
Research Article


Matrix training consists of preplanning instruction by arranging components of desired skills across a minimum of two axes. In the current study, three matrices were developed for each participant (e.g., Matrix 1, Generalization Matrix 1, and Generalization Matrix 2) with known color and shape components. Following baseline, nonoverlapping (i.e., diagonal) training was conducted with Matrix 1. Results of posttests were used to determine the extent of emergence of untrained color-shape combinations across all matrices. Results from all six participants indicated that mastery criteria were eventually met for Matrix 1. For five participants, mastery criteria were also eventually met for generalization matrices. Results replicate findings from prior studies and offer a simple approach for both testing emergence of untrained skills and remediating responding.


Autism Matrix training Recombinative generalization Tact Verbal behavior 



The study was conducted at the Marcus Autism Center and Emory University and was supported by a grant from the Marcus Core Pilot Funding Award.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors have no declared financial conflicts of interest.

Ethical Approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Informed Consent

Informed consent was obtained for all individuals in the study.


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Copyright information

© Association for Behavior Analysis International 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sarah E. Frampton
    • 1
    Email author
  • Taylor M. Thompson
    • 2
  • Brittany L. Bartlett
    • 2
  • Bethany Hansen
    • 2
    • 3
  • M. Alice Shillingsburg
    • 1
  1. 1.May Institute, Inc.RandolphUSA
  2. 2.Language and Learning ClinicMarcus Autism CenterAtlantaUSA
  3. 3.Emory University School of MedicineAtlantaUSA

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