Correlated Hypothesizing and the Distinction between Contingency-Shaped and Rule-Governed Behavior

  • Philip N. Hineline
  • Barbara A. Wanchisen


Within our culture, references to consciousness, rational thought, and the use of knowledge are taken as straightforward descriptions of basic human functioning. Within psychology, there has been an enduring controversy over whether such terms qualify as basic explanatory terms, or whether they are misleading intrusions from ordinary language. On one hand, cognitivists have conformed to common usage, encorporating “knowledge,” “awareness,” and other terms of mentalistic origin into the groundwork of their theories. These concepts are said to explain why humans (and sometimes animals as well) behave as they do. On the other hand, behavioral traditions have run counter to these patterns. Many behaviorists have asserted that terms of mentalistic origin are inappropriate to a scientific account.


Verbal Behavior Discriminative Stimulus Conditional Discrimination Behavior Analyst Declarative Knowledge 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Adams, J. (1957). Laboratory studies of behavior without awareness. Psychological Bulletin, 54, 383–405.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  2. Anderson, J. R. (1980). Cognitive psychology and its implications. San Francisco: W. H. FreemanGoogle Scholar
  3. Baum, W. M. (1974). On two types of deviation from the matching law: Bias and undermatching. Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior, 22, 231–242.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  4. Bern, S. L. (1967). Verbal self-control: The establishment of effective self-instruction. Journal of Experimental Psychology, 14, 485–491.Google Scholar
  5. Bentall, R. P., & Lowe, C. F. (1987). The role of verbal behavior in human learning: III. Instructional effects in children. Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior, 47, 177–190.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  6. Bentall, R. P., Lowe, C. F., & Beasty, A. (1985). The role of verbal behavior in human learning: II. Developmental differences. Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior, 43, 165–181.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  7. Black, A. H. (1971). The direct control of neural processes by reward and punishment. The American Scientist, 59, 236–245.Google Scholar
  8. Boren, M. C. P. (1973). Fixed-ratio and variable-ratio schedules of brief stimuli in second-order schedules of matching to sample. Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior, 20, 219–234.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  9. Bower, G., & Trobasso, T. (1964). Concept identification. In R. C. Atkinson (Ed.), Studies in mathematical psychology (pp. 32–96). Stanford: Stanford University Press.Google Scholar
  10. Brewer, W. F. (1975). There is no convincing evidence for operant or classical conditioning in adult humans. In W. B. Weimer & D. S. Palermo (Eds.), Cognitive and symbolic processes (pp. 1–56). Hillsdale, NJ.: Erlbaum.Google Scholar
  11. Brown, P. L., & Jenkins, H. M. (1968). Auto-shaping of the pigeon’s key-peck. Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior, 11, 1–8.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  12. Bruner, A., & Revusky, S. H. (1961). Collateral behavior in humans. Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior, 4, 349–350.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  13. Catania, A. C. (1973). The concept of the operant in the analysis of behavior. Behaviorism, 1, 103–116.Google Scholar
  14. Catania, A. C., Matthews, B. A., & Shimoff, E. (1982). Instructed versus shaped human verbal behavior: Interactions with nonverbal responding. Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior, 38, 233–248.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  15. Centers, R. (1963). A laboratory adaptation of the conversational procedure for the conditioning of verbal operants. Journal of Abnormal and Social Psychology, 67, 334–339.Google Scholar
  16. Cumming, W. W., & Berryman, R. (1965). The complex discriminated operant: Studies of matching-to-sample and related problems. In D. Mostofsky (Ed.), Stimulus generalization (pp. 284–330). Stanford: Stanford University Press.Google Scholar
  17. Chomsky, N. (1959). Verbal Behavior, by B. F. Skinner. Language, 35, 26–58. Reprinted as item A-34 in the Bobbs-Merrill Reprint Series in the Social Sciences,Google Scholar
  18. and in J. A. Fodor and J. J. Katz, (1964) The Structures of language: readings in the philosophy of Language. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall.Google Scholar
  19. Davidson, N. A., & Osborne, J. G. (1974). Fixed-ratio and fixed-interval schedule control of matching-to-sample errors by children. Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior, 21, 27–36.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  20. Dawkins, R. (1981). Selfish genes and selfish memes. In D. R. Hofstadter & D. C. Dennett (Eds.), The mind’s I: Fantasies and reflections on self and soul (pp. 124–144). New York: Basic Books.Google Scholar
  21. Dawkins, R. (1982). The extended phenotype. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  22. DeNike, L. D. (1964). The temporal relationship between awareness and performance in verbal conditioning. Journal of Experimental Psychology, 68, 521–529.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  23. Dember, W. N. (1974). Motivation and the cognitive revolution. American Psychologist, 29, 161–168.Google Scholar
  24. Devany, J. M., Hayes, S. C., & Nelson, R. O. (1986). Equivalence class formation in language-able and language-disabled children. Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior, 46, 243–257.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  25. Dulany, D. E. (1961). Hypotheses and habits in verbal “operant conditioning.” Journal of Abnormal & Social Psychology, 63 (2), 251–263.Google Scholar
  26. Ericsson, K. A., & Simon, H. A. (1980). Verbal reports as data. Psychological Review, 87, 215–251.Google Scholar
  27. Estes, W. K., & Skinner, B. F. (1941). Some quantitative properties of anxiety. Journal of Experimental Psychology, 29, 390–400.Google Scholar
  28. Falk, J. L. (1966). Schedule-induced polydipsia as a function of fixed-interval length. Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior, 9, 37–39.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  29. Ferster, C. B. (1960). Intermittent reinforcement of matching to sample in the pigeon. Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior, 3, 259–272.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  30. Ferster, C. B., & Skinner, B. F. (1957). Schedules of reinforcement. New York: Appleton-Century-Crofts.Google Scholar
  31. Flavell, J. H. (1971). First discussant’s comments: What is memory development the development of? Human Development, 14, 272–278.Google Scholar
  32. Fodor, J. A. (1981). The mind-body problem. Scientific American, 244, 114–123.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  33. Greenspoon, J. (1955). The reinforcing effect of two spoken sounds on the frequency of two responses. American Journal of Psychology, 68, 409–416.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  34. Greenspoon, J. (1963). Reply to Spielberger and DeNike: “Operant conditioning of plural nouns: A failure to replicate the Greenspoon effect.” Psychological Reports, 12, 29–30.Google Scholar
  35. Guevremont, D. C., Osnes, P. G., & Stokes, T. F. (1988). The functional role of preschoolers’ verbalizations in the generalization of self-instructional training. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 21, 45–55.Google Scholar
  36. Harlow, H. F. (1959). Learning set and error factor theory. In S. Koch (Ed.), Psychology: A study of a science. Vol. 2. General systematic formulations; learning and special processes (pp. 492–537). New York: McGraw-Hill.Google Scholar
  37. Hawkes, L., & Shimp, C. P. (1974). Choice between response rates. Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior, 21, 109–115.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  38. Hayes, S. C. (1986). The case of the silent dog—verbal reports and the analysis of rules: A review of Ericsson and Simon’s Protocol analysis: Verbal reports as data. Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior, 45, 351–363.Google Scholar
  39. Hayes, S. C., Brownstein, A. J., Haas, J. R., & Greenway, D. E. (1986). Instructions, multiple schedules, and extinction: Distinguishing rule-governed from schedule-controlled behavior. Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior, 46, 137–147.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  40. Hefferline, R. F., Keenan, B., & Harford, R. A. (1959). Escape and avoidance conditioning in human subjects without their observation of the response. Science, 130, 1338–1339.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  41. Hefferline, R. F., & Pererra, T. B. (1963). Proprioceptive discrimination of a covert operant without its observation by the subject. Science, 139, 834–835.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  42. Herrnstein, R. J. (1979). Acquisition, generalization, and discrimination reversal of a natural concept. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Animal Behavior Processes, 5, 116–129.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  43. Hineline, P. N. (1983). When we speak of knowing. The Behavior Analyst, 6, 183–186.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  44. Hineline, P. N. (1984). What, then, is Skinner’s operationism? Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 7, 560.Google Scholar
  45. Hineline, P. N. (1986). Re-tuning the operant-respondent distinction. In Travis Thompson & M. D. Zeiler (Eds.), Analysis and integration of behavioral units (pp. 55–79). Hillsdale, NJ: Earlbaum.Google Scholar
  46. Kendler, H. H., & Spence, J. T. (Eds.). (1971). Essays in neobehaviorism: A memorial volume to Kenneth W. Spence. New York: Appleton-Century-Crofts.Google Scholar
  47. Kihlstrom, J. F. (1987). The cognitive unconscious. Science, 237, 1445–1452.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  48. Kluwe, R. H. (1982). Cognitive knowledge and executive control: Metacognition. In D. F. Griffin (Ed.), Animal mind-human mind (pp. 201–224). New York: Springer-Verlag.Google Scholar
  49. Krechevsky, I. (1932). “Hypotheses” in rats. Psychological Review, 39, 516–532.Google Scholar
  50. Lacey, H. M., & Rachlin, H. (1978). Behavior, cognition and theories of choice. Behaviorism, 6, 177–202.Google Scholar
  51. Lamarre, J., & Holland, J. G. (1985). The functional independence of mands and tacts. Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior, 43, 5–19.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  52. Laties, V. G., & Weiss, B. (1963). Effects of a concurrent task on fixed-interval responding in humans. Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior, 6, 431–436.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  53. Laties, V. G., Weiss, B., Clark, R. L., & Reynolds, M. D. (1965). Overt “mediating” behavior during temporally spaced responding. Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior, 8, 107–116.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  54. Lattal, K. A. (1975). Reinforcement contingency as discriminative stimulus. Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior, 23, 241–246.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  55. Laurenti-Lions, L., Gallego, J., Chambille, B., Vardon, G., & Jacquemin, C. (1985). Control of myoelectrical responses through reinforcement. Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior, 44, 185–193.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  56. Levine, M. (1966). Hypothesis behavior by humans during discrimination learning. Journal of Experimental Psychology, 71, 331–338.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  57. Levine, M. (1975). A cognitive theory of learning. Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.Google Scholar
  58. Libet, B. (1985). Unconscious cerebral initiative and the role of conscious will in voluntary action (and related commentary). Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 8, 529–566.Google Scholar
  59. Lloyd, K. E. (1980). Do as I say; not as I do. New Zealand Psychologist, 9, 1–8.Google Scholar
  60. Lowe, C. F. (1979). Determinants of human operant behavior. In M. D. Zeiler and P. Harzern (Eds.), Advances in analysis of behaviour (Vol. 1): Reinforcement and the organization of behaviour (pp. 159–192). Chichester and New York: Wiley.Google Scholar
  61. Lowe, C. F., Beasty, A., & Bentall, R. P. (1983). The role of verbal behavior in human learning: Infant performance on fixed-interval schedules. Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior, 39, 157–164.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  62. MacCorquodale, K. (1970). On Chomsky’s review of Skinner’s Verbal Behavior. Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior, 13, 83–99.Google Scholar
  63. MacCorquodale, K., & Meehl, P. E. (1948). On a distinction between hypothetical constructs and intervening variables. Psychological Review, 55, 95–107.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  64. Matthews, B. A., Catania, A. C., & Shimoff, E. (1985). Effects of uninstructed verbal behavior on nonverbal responding: Contingency descriptions versus performance descriptions. Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior, 43, 155–164.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  65. Millenson, J. R., & Leslie, J. (1979). Principles of behavioral analysis (2nd ed.). New York: Macmillan.Google Scholar
  66. Morris, E. K., Higgins, S. T., & Bickel, W. K. (1982). Comments on cognitive science in the experimental analysis of behavior. The Behavior Analyst, 5, 109–125.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  67. Neuringer, A. (1986). Can people behave “randomly?”: The role of feedback. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, 115, 62–75.Google Scholar
  68. Nevin, J. A., & Liebold, K. (1966). Stimulus control of matching and oddity in a pigeon. Psychonomic Science, 5, 351–352.Google Scholar
  69. Nisbett, R. E., & Wilson, T. C. (1977). Telling more than we know: Verbal reports on mental processes. Psychological Review, 84, 231–259.Google Scholar
  70. Norman, D. A. (1969). Memory and attention: An introduction to human information processing. New York: John Wiley & Sons.Google Scholar
  71. Orne, M. T. (1962). On the social psychology of the psychological experiment: With particular reference to demand characteristics and their implications. American Psychologist, 17, 776–783.Google Scholar
  72. Putnam, H. (1973). Reductionism and the nature of psychology. Cognition, 2, 131–146.Google Scholar
  73. Richardson, W. K., & Clark, D. B. (1976). A comparison of the key-peck and treadle-press operants in the pigeon: Differential-reinforcement-of-low-rate schedule of reinforcement. Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior, 26, 237–256.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  74. Rogers-Warren, A., & Baer, D. M. (1976). Correspondence between saying and doing: Teaching children to share and praise. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 9, 335–354.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  75. Rosenfeld, J. P., Rudell, A. P., & Fox, S. S. (1969). Operant control of neural events in humans. Science, 165, 821–823.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  76. Salzinger, K. (1986). Cognitive problems, behavioral solutions. Paper presented at the Behaviorists’ European Summer Academy, Bad Kreuznach, Germany, June 1986.Google Scholar
  77. Salzinger, K., & Pisoni, S. (1960). Reinforcement of verbal affect responses of normal subjects during the interview. Journal of Abnormal and Social Psychology, 60, 127–130.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  78. Schnaitter, R. (1978). Private causes. Behaviorism, 6, 1–12.Google Scholar
  79. Shepard, R. N., & Metzler, B. (1971). Mental rotation of three-dimensional objects. Science, 171, 701–703.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  80. Shimoff, E., Matthews, B. A., & Catania, A. C. (1986). Human operant performance: Sensitivity and pseudosensitivity to contingencies. Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior, 46, 149–157.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  81. Shimoff, E., Catania, A. C., & Matthews, B. A. (1981). Uninstructed human responding: Sensitivity of low-rate performance to schedule contingencies. Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior, 36, 207–218.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  82. Shimp, C. P. (1970). The concurrent reinforcement of two interresponae times: Absolute rate of reinforcment. Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior, 13, 1–8.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  83. Shimp, C. P. (1983). The local organization of behavior: Dissociations between a pigeon’s behavior and self-reports of that behavior. Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior, 39, 61–68PubMedGoogle Scholar
  84. Shinkman, P. G., Bruce, C. J., & Pfingst, B. E. (1974). Operant conditioning of single-unit response patterns in visual cortex. Science, 184, 1194–1196.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  85. Sidman, M. (1986). Functional analysis of emergent verbal classes. In T. Thompson & M. D. Zeiler (Eds.), Analysis and integration of behavioral units (pp. 213–245). Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.Google Scholar
  86. Sidman, M., Rauzin, R., Lazar, R., Cunningham, S., Tailby, W., & Carrigan, P. (1982). A search for symmetry in the conditional discriminations of rhesus monkeys, baboons, and children. Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior, 37, 23–44.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  87. Siegler, R. S. (1983). How knowledge influences learning. American Scientist, 71, 631–638.Google Scholar
  88. Skinner, B. F. (1931). The concept of the reflex in the description of behavior. Journal of General Psychology, 5, 427–458.Google Scholar
  89. Skinner, B. F. (1935). The generic nature of the concepts of stimulus and response. Journal of General Psychology, 12, 40–65.Google Scholar
  90. Skinner, B. F. (1938). The behavior of organisms. New York: Appleton-Century-Crofts.Google Scholar
  91. Skinner, B. F. (1945). The operational analysis of psychological terms. Psychological Review, 52, 270–277, 291–294.Google Scholar
  92. Skinner, B. F. (1950). Are theories of learning necessary? Psychological Review, 57, 193–216.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  93. Skinner, B. F. (1953). Science and human behavior. New York: Macmillan.Google Scholar
  94. Skinner, B. F. (1957). Verbal behavior. New York: Appleton-Century Crofts.Google Scholar
  95. Skinner, B. F. (1961). Why we need teaching machines. Harvard Educational Review, 31, 377–398.Google Scholar
  96. Skinner, B. F. (1963). Behaviorism at fifty. Science, 140, 951–958.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  97. Skinner, B. F. (1968). The technology of teaching. New York: Appleton-Century-Crofts.Google Scholar
  98. Skinner, B. F. (1969). Contingencies of reinforcement: A theoretical analysis. New York: Appleton-Century-Crofts.Google Scholar
  99. Skinner, B. F. (1974). About behaviorism. New York: Knopf.Google Scholar
  100. Skinner, B. F. (1977). Why I am not a cognitive psychologist. Behaviorism, 5, 1–10.Google Scholar
  101. Skinner, B. F. (1981). Selection by consequences. Science, 213, 501–504.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  102. Smith, T. L. (1986). Biology as allegory: A review of Elliott Sober’s The nature of selection. Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior, 46, 105–112.Google Scholar
  103. Sober, E. (1984). The nature of selection: Evolutionary theory in philosophical focus. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.Google Scholar
  104. Spielberger, C. D., & DeNike, L. D. (1966). Descriptive behaviorism versus cognitive theory in verbal operant conditioning. Psychological Review, 73, 306–326.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  105. Stubbs, A. (1968). The discrimination of stimulus duration by pigeons. Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior, 11, 223–238.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  106. Touchette, P. E. (1971). Transfer of stimulus control: Measuring the moment of transfer. Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior, 15, 347–354.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  107. Vaughan, W., & Herrnstein, R. J. (1987). Choosing among natural stimuli. Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior, 47, 5–16.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  108. Weisberg, R. W. (1980). Memory, thought, and behavior. New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  109. Wilson, M. P., & Keller, F. S. (1953). On the selective reinforcement of spaced responses. Journal of Comparative and Physiological Psychology, 46, 190–193.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  110. Zettle, R. D., & Hayes, S. C. (1982). Rule-governed behavior: A potential theoretical framework for cognitive-behavioral therapy. In P. C. Kendall (Ed.), Advances in cognitive-behavioral research and therapy, volume I (pp. 73–118). New York: Academic Press.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • Philip N. Hineline
    • 1
  • Barbara A. Wanchisen
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyTemple UniversityPhiladelphiaUSA
  2. 2.Department of PsychologyBaldwin-Wallace CollegeBereaUSA

Personalised recommendations