A reply to behavior analysts writing about rules and rule-governed behavior
Verbal stimuli called “rules” or “instructions” continue to be interpreted as discriminative stimuli despite recent arguments against this practice. Instead, it might more fruitful for behavior analysts to focus on “contingency-specifying stimuli” which are function-altering. Moreover, rather than having a special term, “rule,” for verbal stimuli whose only function is discriminative, perhaps behavior analysts should reserve the term, if at all, only for these function-altering contingency-specifying stimuli.
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