The Analysis of Verbal Behavior

, Volume 23, Issue 1, pp 57–69 | Cite as

The Veils of Clio: Dimensions of a Behavioral Narratology



This paper outlines a behavior-analysis approach to the field of narratology, the study of the narrative or story, with emphasis on nonfiction stories and the processes by which such stories distort the world they describe. Stories are described in terms of (a) a behavior-analysis adaptation of Todorov’s (1977) analysis of the plots of stories in terms of states of equilibrium/disequilibrium and (b) Grant’s (2005) analysis of the structure of stories in terms of establishing operations and escape contingencies. These two sets of concepts are applied to understanding how and why stories lead to distortions of the events they report.

Key words

narratology nonfiction stories establishing operation steady states transition states history biography 


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Copyright information

© Association of Behavior Analysis International 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Centre for PsychologyAthabasca UniversityAthabascaCanada

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