The Analysis of Verbal Behavior

, Volume 6, Issue 1, pp 3–9 | Cite as

Establishing operations and the mand

  • Jack Michael


In Verbal Behavior Skinner identifies a small number of elementary verbal relations, one of which is the mand. Because its introduction is at first in terms of unlearned motivative variables, and because the mand’s relation to prior controlling events is quite complex, its general significance has probably been underestimated. An extensive treatment of establishing operations, including the warning and the blocked-response conditioned establishing operations is provided, followed by a description of the mand in terms of such operations. The importance of the mand for language training programs is suggested, as well as the reasons why it is typically neglected in such programs.


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Copyright information

© Association of Behavior Analysis International 1988

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jack Michael
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyWestern Michigan UniversityKalamazooUSA

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