Skip to main content
Kent Academic Repository

The use of conditioned motivating operations (CMOs) in mand training for children with autism spectrum disorder: A systematic review

Ban, Yuki, McGill, Peter (2023) The use of conditioned motivating operations (CMOs) in mand training for children with autism spectrum disorder: A systematic review. European Journal of Behaviour Analysis, 24 (1-2). pp. 51-102. ISSN 1502-1149. E-ISSN 2377-729X. (doi:10.1080/15021149.2023.2191078) (KAR id:100697)


The concept of the establishing operation/motivating operation (MO) provides a useful approach for understanding motivational variables in operant conditioning. Since Michael elaborated the concept of the conditioned motivating operation (CMO), three CMO subtypes (i.e., surrogate, reflexive, transitive) have been applied in the analysis of behaviour. The aims of the current review are (a) to identify the types of CMO used in mand training, (b) to identify the stimuli functioning as CMOs in the MO manipulation procedures, and (c) to analyse the effectiveness of MO manipulation procedures in mand training. The current systematic review identifies, between 1982 and 2022, 61 studies using MO manipulation procedures to teach new mand responses to children with autism spectrum disorder. All studies used transitive CMOs in mand training. Various stimuli functioned as CMOs in a range of procedures, the most common being hiding an item from view. The evaluation of effect sizes showed that mand training using CMOs had medium to strong effects in 66% of the participants in increasing their independent mand responses. Implications for practitioners and suggestions for future research on mand training using CMOs are discussed.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1080/15021149.2023.2191078
Uncontrolled keywords: Autism spectrum disorder, conditioned motivating operation, establishing operation, discriminative stimulus, mand, verbal behaviour
Subjects: H Social Sciences
Divisions: Divisions > Division for the Study of Law, Society and Social Justice > School of Social Policy, Sociology and Social Research > Tizard
Funders: University of Kent (
Depositing User: Josie Caplehorne
Date Deposited: 31 Mar 2023 12:56 UTC
Last Modified: 24 Apr 2024 14:32 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

University of Kent Author Information

  • Depositors only (login required):

Total unique views for this document in KAR since July 2020. For more details click on the image.