- Skinner's book, "Verbal Behavior" (1957) is truly the start of Verbal Behavior as we know it today.
- In this book, Skinner provides an analysis of language and how language happens.
- He sees language as behavior that can be seen and treated like any other behavior.
- Skinner viewed speech & communication as behavior.
- Every part of language uses the 3-term contingency (A, B, C’s).
- Ex: A = desire or motivation for something
B = the verbal behavior (requesting something)
C = the reinforcer (getting what you requested)
- Communication consists of using gestures, words, sign language, and/or pictures (PECS or Pics).
- How Skinner analyses language -- The Behavioral Classification of Language:
- Mands: Which are Requests ("I want cookie")
- Tacts: Which are Labels ("It's a dog" - when the child see's a dog)
- Duplic: Motor imitation ("Do this") & Echoic (vocal imitation) ("Say ____")
- Textual: Written text
- Intraverbal: Fill-ins; answering “wh” questions (Answering the question: "What's your name?")
- Receptive Language: Understanding instructions & following them ("Go get your coat and shoes on")
- Receptive by Feature, Function & Class (RFFC): Responding to an item when given a description ("Point to something you drive in")