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The Analysis of Verbal Behavior

, Volume 22, Issue 1, pp 35–48 | Cite as

Empirical Applications of Skinner’s Analysis of Verbal Behavior with Humans

  • Rachael A. Sautter
  • Linda A. LeBlanc
Article

Abstract

In Verbal behavior, Skinner (1957) provided a conceptual framework and taxonomy for the controlling variables of language that defined independent verbal operants by their functional relations to antecedents and consequences (rather than by topography or meaning). Although professional interest in this area has recently increased within the behavior analytic community, Skinner’s conceptual framework may not yet have fully impacted the experimental literature. This quantitative review of the literature examined the studies on verbal behavior that were empirical in nature, concerned with human verbal behavior, and addressed at least one verbal operant (e.g., mand, tact, echoic, autoclitic, and/or intraverbal behavior) within the experiment. The results of this review suggest that a growing body of research exists to support many of the tenets of Skinner’s conceptualization and taxonomy but many areas of verbal behavior research have yet to be addressed. Continued research in this area is crucial for the development and implementation of effective verbal behavior interventions for people with disabilities.

Key words

verbal behavior mand tact echoic autoclitic intraverbal Skinner 

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Copyright information

© Association of Behavior Analysis International 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychologyWestern Michigan UniversityKalamazooUSA

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