The relationship between stimulus equivalence and verbal behavior
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Despite the apparent similarity between stimulus equivalence and verbal behavior, these phenomena have been described in different terms. With different terminologies for each phenomenon, the precise nature of their relationship is difficult to determine. To explore this relationship, this paper first defines stimulus equivalence using a synthesis of the mathematical definition of the equivalence relation and Sidman and Tailby’s (1982) definition. Selected examples of stimulus equivalence are then described as verbal behavior using Skinner’s (1957) terminology. The paper then cites instances of verbal behavior that cannot be described as stimulus equivalence and considers whether there are instances of stimulus equivalence that cannot be described as verbal behavior.
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