The Analysis of Verbal Behavior

, Volume 9, Issue 1, pp 49–60 | Cite as

A standard methodology for the analysis, recording, and control of verbal behavior

  • Philip W. Drash
  • Roger M. Tudor


Lack of a standard methodology has been one of the major obstacles preventing advancement of behavior analytic research in verbal behavior. This article presents a standard method for the analysis, recording, and control of verbal behavior that overcomes several major methodological problems that have hindered operant research in verbal behavior. The system divides all verbal behavior into four functional response classes, correct, error, no response, and inappropriate behavior, from which all vocal responses of a subject may be classified and consequated. The effects of contingencies of reinforcement on verbal operants within each category are made immediately visible to the researcher as changes in frequency of response. Incorporating frequency of response within each category as the unit of response allows both rate and probability of verbal response to be utilized as basic dependent variables. This method makes it possible to record and consequate verbal behavior in essentially the same way as any other operant response. It may also facilitate an experimental investigation of Skinner’s verbal response categories.


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Copyright information

© Association of Behavior Analysis International 1991

Authors and Affiliations

  • Philip W. Drash
    • 1
  • Roger M. Tudor
    • 2
  1. 1.Florida Mental Health InstituteUniversity of South FloridaTampaUSA
  2. 2.Westfield State CollegeUSA

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