A review of empirical studies of verbal behavior
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This paper reviews empirical research which has been directly influenced by Skinner’s Verbal Behavior. Despite the importance of this subject matter, the book has generated relatively little empirical research. Most studies have focused on Skinner’s mand and tact relations while research focused on the other elementary verbal operants has been limited. However, the results of empirical research that exist support Skinner’s analysis of the distinction between elementary verbal operants and his distinction between the speaker’s and listener’s repertoires. Further, research suggests that language training programs may not be successful if they do not provide explicit training of each elementary verbal operant and independent training of speaker’s and listener’s repertoires.
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