The Analysis of Verbal Behavior

, Volume 11, Issue 1, pp 63–76 | Cite as

Mutual exclusivity and exclusion: Converging evidence from two contrasting traditions

  • Kenneth R. Huntley
  • Patrick M. Ghezzi


Mutual exclusivity and exclusion are two terms used by cognitive psychologists and behavior analysts, respectively, to identify essentially the same phenomenon. While cognitive psychologists view mutual exclusivity in terms of a hypothesis that individuals use intuitively while acquiring language, behavior analysts regard exclusion as a derived stimulus relation that bears upon the acquisition and elaboration of verbal behavior. Each research tradition, though at odds with respect to accounting for the phenomenon, employs similar procedures to answer comparable questions. Insofar as both cognitive and behavioral psychologists are studying the same phenomenon, the ground work is established for collaboration between them.


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Copyright information

© Association of Behavior Analysis International 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kenneth R. Huntley
    • 1
  • Patrick M. Ghezzi
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversity of NevadaRenoUSA

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