The Behavior Analyst

, Volume 33, Issue 1, pp 83–96 | Cite as

Zen and behavior analysis

  • Roger Bass


Zen’s challenge for behavior analysis is to explain a repertoire that renders analysis itself meaningless—a result following not from scientific or philosophical arguments but rather from a unique verbal history generated by Zen’s methods. Untying Zen’s verbal knots suggests how meditation’s and koans’ effects on verbal behavior contribute to Enlightenment and Samadhi. The concept of stimulus singularity is introduced to account for why, within Zen’s frame of reference, its methods can be studied but its primary outcomes (e.g., Samādhi and Satori) cannot be described in any conventional sense.

Key words

Zen verbal behavior meditation enlightenment 


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Copyright information

© Association for Behavior Analysis International 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of EducationCarthage CollegeKenoshaUSA

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