Some of the consequences of assuming that private events obey the same laws as public ones are explored. Corollaries to this assumption are that knowledge of the topography of a response is not required to control its frequency, and that Premack’s differential probability hypothesis can be exploited to control reinforcement contingencies. Preliminary indications are that behavioristic analyses of private events are fruitful and will yield powerful tools in the control of other behaviors.
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Thanks are due to all of the author’s Westinghouse colleagues, especially D. T. Tosti, C. B. Chadwick, J. A. Colosimo, P. C.deBaca, and K. M. Kamerman, for their more or less successful attempts at withholding aversive stimulation during the development of the notions which appear in this paper, and for occasionally generating old shopworn ideas which could be refurbished into the sparkling new ones found here.
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Homme, L.E. Perspectives in Psychology: XXIV Control of Coverants, the Operants of the Mind. Psychol Rec 15, 501–511 (1965). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF03393622