Association for Behavior Analysis International

The Association for Behavior Analysis International® (ABAI) is a nonprofit membership organization with the mission to contribute to the well-being of society by developing, enhancing, and supporting the growth and vitality of the science of behavior analysis through research, education, and practice.


Fourth International Conference; Australia, 2007

Event Details

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Paper Session #58
International Paper Session - Verbal Behaviour: I
Tuesday, August 14, 2007
9:30 AM–10:50 AM
L2 Room 3
Area: VRB
Chair: David C. Palmer (Smith College)
Lingual Behavior.
Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
ERNEST A. VARGAS (B. F. Skinner Foundation)
Abstract: Behavior is shaped, controlled, and maintained either by direct contact with an immediate milieu or by contact mediated by other behavior. Skinner called “verbal”, behavior mediated through other behavior evolved through a lingual community. His analysis of the contingency relations involved between verbalizer, mediator, and the verbal community by and large concentrated on the role of the verbalizer. The lingual community, however, specifies the properties of verbal behavior that must be shaped and maintained by mediational behavior. Verbal and mediational relations in combination with their interaction with the lingual community constitute lingual behavior.
The Role of Prosody in the Stimulus Control of Verbal Behavior.
Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
DAVID C. PALMER (Smith College)
Abstract: Autoclitic frames consist of fixed elements, intraverbally related, and variable terms that must be supplied by context. For example, the utterance, “I called the doctor up,” includes the frame “call X up” and the variable term “doctor.” In another context, the variable term might be “my mother-in-law” or “the refrigerator repairman.” The interruption of an intraverbal sequence by a variable term raises the question of what discriminative stimuli in the context control the shift from one verbal operant to another, that is, from the frame to variable to frame again. I argue that the only invariant features of the context are prosodic cues within the utterance itself, and that among the many functions that prosody might serve in verbal behavior, the control of a speaker by prosodic cues within his own utterances is among the most important.
The Functional Independence of the Elementary Verbal Relations.
Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
ERIKA FORD (University of Auckland, Center for Autism and Related Disorders), Brent Maxwell Jones (Geneva International Centre for Humanitarian De-mining)
Abstract: A Systematic replication of a study by Sundberg, San Juan, Dawdy and Arguelles (1990) was conducted, in order to assess the functional independence of the elementary verbal relations. Five participants with autism spectrum disorder were taught to emit three different responses in the mand, tact and intraverbal relations. The rate of acquisition for each of the relations and the emergence of responses in the untrained verbal relations were measured. Results indicate much variability across participants with respect to the rate of acquisition of each of the relations. Following tact training, four out of five participants emitted correct responses in the untrained mand relation. Similarly, mand training resulted in the emergence of untrained tacts for four out of five participants. None of the participants consistently emitted correct responses that were trained as mands or tacts in the untrained intraverbal relation. Following intraverbal training four of the five participants emitted at least one response in the untrained mand or tact relations. These results are in contrast with findings of similar research on functional independence of the verbal relations. Discussion of the results is focused on the complexities of an experimental analysis of the verbal relations.



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