The Analysis of Verbal Behavior

, Volume 6, Issue 1, pp 23–32 | Cite as

Promoting the behaviorological analysis of verbal behavior

  • John W. Eshleman
  • Ernest A. Vargas
Article

Abstract

An important contribution of radical behavioral science is its analysis of verbal behavior. Slowly but surely an increasing number of efforts verify the propositions explicit or inherent in Skinner’s theory of verbal behavior, or apply his analysis to clinical or educational practice. But both the theory and the effort to apply it are met with silence. Such silent neglect simply varies the calumnious attention usually given to behavioristic science. In recent years several papers have called attention to how non-behaviorists have habitually misrepresented the science of behavior and its underlying philosophy of radical behaviorism (Cooke, 1984; DellaLana, 1982; Morris, 1985; Todd, 1987a; Todd & Morris, 1981; Todd & Morris, 1983). These authors offer various solutions. Their preferred strategy stresses an increased effort to disseminate accurate information about behavioristic science to the press and to the world at large. They generally address, however, errors of commission, not omission. Further, their solutions tend to dwell on “processes” instead of “products.” This paper first reviews the problem of misrepresentation of the science. It then addresses the principal error of omission in the psychological literature, and offers a solution based on achieving new products resulting from new verbal behavior technology.

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Copyright information

© Association of Behavior Analysis International 1988

Authors and Affiliations

  • John W. Eshleman
    • 1
  • Ernest A. Vargas
    • 1
  1. 1.West Virginia UniversityUSA

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