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Establishing operations and the mand


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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Correspondence to Jack Michael.

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Michael, J. Establishing operations and the mand. Analysis Verbal Behav 6, 3–9 (1988).

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