Advertisement

The Analysis of Verbal Behavior

, Volume 20, Issue 1, pp 141–151 | Cite as

A Behavioral Look at the Training of Alex: A Review of Pepperberg’s The Alex Studies: Cognitive and Communicative Abilities of Grey Parrots

  • Bruce E. Hesse
  • Bill Potter
Article

Abstract

The Alex Studies: Cognitive and Communicative Abilities of Grey Parrots by Irene Pepperberg is reviewed from a behavior analytic orientation. The results of the majority of her experiments are discussed in terms drawn from the general literature of behavior analysis and Skinner’s analysis of verbal behavior. We conclude that she has provided evidence of the complex control of vocal behavior that illustrates a functional verbal repertoire of tacts and mands. This book suggests several areas for future research on the methods needed to establish verbal repertoires in species other than humans.

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Refereces

  1. Bandura, A. (1986). Social foundations of thought and action: A social cognitive theory. Englewood Clifts, NJ: Prentice Hall.Google Scholar
  2. Brown, R. 1973. A first language: The early stages. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Fouts, R. S. (1973). Acquisition and testing of gestural signs in four young chimpanzees. Science, 180, 987–990.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Gardner, R. A., & Gardner, B. T. (1969). Teaching sign language to a chimpanzee. Science, 165, 664–672.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  5. Gardner, R.A., Gardner, B. T., Van Cantfort, T. E. (Eds.) (1989). Teaching sign language to chimpanzees. Albany, NY: State University of New York Press.Google Scholar
  6. Hart, B., & Risley, T. R. (1995). Meaningful differences in the everyday experience of young American children. Baltimore: Brooks.Google Scholar
  7. Kellog, W. N., & Kellog, L. A. (1933). The ape and the child. New York: McGraw-Hill.Google Scholar
  8. Moerk, E. L. (1992). First Language: Taught and learned. Baltimore, MD: Paul H. Brookes.Google Scholar
  9. Mowrer, O. H. (1952). The autism theory of speech development and some clinical applications. Journal of Speech and Hearing Disorders, 17, 263–268.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  10. Mowrer, O. H. (1954). A psychologist looks at language. American Psychologist, 9, 660–694.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Mowrer, O. H. (1980). Psychology of language and learning. New York: Plenum Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Patterson, F., & Linden, E. (1981). The education of Koko. New York: Holt, Rinehart & Winston.Google Scholar
  13. Pepperberg, I. M. (1987a). Acquisition of the same/different concept by an African Grey parrot (Psittacus erithacus): Learning with respect to categories of color, shape, and material. Animal Learning & Behavior, 15, 423–432.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Pepperberg, I. M. (1987b). Evidence for conceptual quantitative abilities in the African Grey parrot. Labeling of cardinal sets. Ethology, 75, 37–61CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Pepperberg, I. M. (1988). Comprehension of “absence” by an African Grey parrot: Learning with respect to questions of same/different. Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior, 50, 553–564.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  16. Pepperberg I. M. & Kozak, F. A. (1986). Object permanence in the African Grey parrot (Psittacus erithacus). Animal Learning & Behavior, 14, 322–330.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Roitblat, H. L. (1987). Introduction to comparative cognition. New York: W. H. Freeman.Google Scholar
  18. Rumbaugh, D. M. (Ed.) (1977). Language learning by a chimpanzee. New York: Academic PressGoogle Scholar
  19. Salzinger, K. (1994). The lad was a lady, or the mother of all language learning: A review of Moerk’s First language: Taught and learned. Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior, 62, 323–329CrossRefPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  20. Savage-Rumbaugh, S. (1984). Verbal behavior at a procedural level in the chimpanzee. Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior, 41, 223–250.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  21. Savage-Rumbaugh, S., & Lewin, R. (1994). Kami. New York: Wiley.Google Scholar
  22. Sebeok, T. A., & Umiker-Sebeok, D. J. (Eds.) (1980). Speaking of apes: A critical anthology of two-way communication with man. New York: Plenum PressGoogle Scholar
  23. Skinner, B. F. (1938). The behavior of organisms: An experimental analysis. New York: Appleton-Century-Crofts.Google Scholar
  24. Skinner, B. F. (1957). Verbal behavior. New York: Appleton-Century-Crofts.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Skinner, B. F. (1974). About behaviorism. New York: Alfred A. KnopfGoogle Scholar
  26. Sundberg, M. L. & Partington, J. W. (1998). Teaching language to children with autism or other developmental disabilities. Pleasant Hill, CA: Behavior Analysts, Inc.Google Scholar
  27. Terrace, H. S. (1979). Nim. New York: Washington Square PressGoogle Scholar
  28. Terrace, H. S., Petitto, L. A., Sanders, R. J., & Bever, T. G. (1979). Can an ape create a sentence? Science, 206, 891–902CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  29. Todt, D. (1975). Social learning of vocal patterns and modes of their application in Grey parrots. Zeitschrift für Tierpsychologie, 39, 178–188.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Twyman, J. S. (1996). The functional independence of impure mands and tacts of abstract stimulus properties. The Analysis of Verbal Behavior, 13, 1–19.PubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  31. Wright, A. A., Cook, R. G., Rivera, J. J., Sands, S. F., & Delius, J. D. (1988). Concept learning by pigeons: Matching-to-sample with trial-unique video picture stimuli. Animal Learning and Behavior, 16, 436–444.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Association of Behavior Analysis International 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychologyCalifornia State UniversityTurlockUSA

Personalised recommendations