The Analysis of Verbal Behavior

, Volume 5, Issue 1, pp 77–79 | Cite as

On diversity in the terminology concerning inhibitory stimulus control: Implications for practitioners of applied behavior analysis

  • Thomas S. Woods


The multiplicity of terms employed in the literature of behavior analysis to tact stimuli associated with inhibition effects is considered. It is submitted that whereas there is diversity in the conditioning histories associated with inhibitory stimulus control, there is commonality in the controlling properties invested in contiguous stimuli by those various histories. The author contends that there is heuristic value in organizing the scientific language of behavior analysts on this topic around inhibition as a process. It is further suggested that the many tacts for inhibition-related stimuli, divided as they are along what might be called procedural lines, distract from what is argued here to be the core operation, viz., stimulus mediated inhibition.


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Copyright information

© Association of Behavior Analysis International 1987

Authors and Affiliations

  • Thomas S. Woods
    • 1
  1. 1.The University of British ColumbiaVancouverCanada

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