Advertisement

The Analysis of Verbal Behavior

, Volume 11, Issue 1, pp 55–62 | Cite as

The concept of strength in the analysis of verbal behavior

  • Chris Cherpas
Article

Abstract

A textual analysis of the concept of strength is presented, based on patterns of its occurrence in the book Verbal Behavior (Skinner, 1957). A manual count was conducted of all instances of the word “strength,” and closely related forms. Rates were then plotted and interpreted as revealing the kinds of situations where strength is most relevant. Strength appears to be most relevant (as measured by instances per page of text) whenever a detailed behavioral analysis involves 1) more than one source of strength for a response, 2) multiple responses or fragments being strengthened by one or more variables, 3) dynamic changes in behavior, or 4) behavior which is not currently or readily observed. Further research is needed to evaluate how textual analysis of this sort contributes to a science of behavior.

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Anger, D. (1956). The dependence of interresponse times upon the relative reinforcement of different interresponse times. Journal of Experimental Psychology, 52, 145–161.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  2. Epinoza, J. (1993). Probability and radical behaviorism. The Behavior Analyst, 15, 51–60.Google Scholar
  3. Herrnstein, R. (1970). On the law of effect. Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior, 13, 243–266.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  4. Johnson, L. & Morris, E. (1987). When speaking of probability in behavior analysis. Behaviorism, 15, 107–129.Google Scholar
  5. Michael, J. (1979, May). Behavior analysis of probability. Paper presented at the 5th Annual Convention of the Association for Behavior Analysis, Dearborn, MI.Google Scholar
  6. Migler, B. (1964). The effects of averaging during stimulus generalization. Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior, 7, 303–307.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  7. Nevin, A. (1974). Response strength in multiple schedules. Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior, 21, 389–408.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  8. Shimp, C. (1969). Optimal behavior in free-operant experiments. Psychological Review, 76, 97–112.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Shull, R. (1993). Boring’s Mach and state variables. Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior, 60, 485–487.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  10. Skinner, B. F. (1938). The behavior of organisms. New York: Appleton-Century-Crofts.Google Scholar
  11. Skinner, B. F. (1953). Science and human behavior. New York: Macmillan.Google Scholar
  12. Skinner, B. F. (1957). Verbal behavior. New York: Appleton-Century-Crofts.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Smith, K. (1974). The continuum of reinforcement and attenuation. Behaviorism, 2, 124–145.Google Scholar
  14. Wildemann, D., & Holland, J. (1972). Control of a continuous response dimension by a continuous stimulus dimension. Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior, 18, 419–434.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Association of Behavior Analysis International 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  • Chris Cherpas
    • 1
  1. 1.Computer Curriculum CorporationSunnyvaleUSA

Personalised recommendations