Verbal Governance, Verbal Shaping, and Attention to Verbal Stimuli

  • A. Charles Catania


Whence comes the power of words? Citizens of purportedly civilized nations have come under the sway of the rhetoric of demagogues. Soldiers have killed and been killed following the orders of military superiors. Leaders of some religious sects have put people to death for utterances labeled blasphemous or heretical. Leaders of others have taken their own and their followers’ lives with words of salvation on their lips. Yet were my next words to promise you immortality in good health and prosperity in a world of intellectual challenge, amusement, and good fellowship, asking nothing more in return than a portion of your current worldly goods, I doubt you would take up my offer. Some in our culture, however, do give things over to or do things for those who say they guarantee eternal bliss in exchange. Why are so many so susceptible to such verbal behavior?


Verbal Behavior Discriminative Stimulus Nonverbal Behavior Verbal Stimulus Behavior Analyst 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • A. Charles Catania
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversity of Maryland/Baltimore CountyBaltimoreUSA

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