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.


31st Annual Convention; Chicago, IL; 2005

Event Details

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Invited Paper Session #337
The Necessity of a Multi-Scaled Approach for the Analysis of Verbal Behavior
Monday, May 30, 2005
11:00 AM–11:50 AM
Stevens 3 (Lower Level)
Area: VRB; Domain: Theory
CE Instructor: Philip N. Hineline, Ph.D.
Chair: Paul D. Neuman (Bryn Mawr College)
PHILIP N. HINELINE (Temple University)
After completing his B. A. at Hamilton College and Ph.D. at Harvard University, Philip N. Hineline spent three years at the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research before moving to Temple University, where he is now a Professor. He routinely teaches both basic and advanced levels, and maintains a “teaching environment” in his research laboratory, where much of the mentoring occurs between graduate and undergraduate students. Thanks to the initiative of those students, he has received several awards for excellence in teaching: In the spring of 1999, he received the Eleanor Hofkin Award for Excellence in Teaching, from the Alumni Association of the College of Arts and Sciences of Temple University. The following year he received Temple's university-wide "Great Teacher Award," and the "Distinguished Teacher Award" from the College of Arts and sciences. Outside the University, he served first as Associate Editor, as Editor, and then as Review Editor of the Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior. He has been President of the Association for Behavior Analysis, International, as well as of Division 25 of the American Psychological Association. In 1995 he received the award for Distinguished Service to Behavior Analysis from the Society for the Advancement of Behavior Analysis, and in 2002, the Award for Outstanding Contributions to Basic Research, from Division 25 of the APA. His conceptual writing has focused upon the characteristics of explanatory language and the role of those characteristics in the controversies that have confronted behavior analysis. His empirical research has contained a consistent theme, to develop an understanding of behavioral and psychological processes as extended in time.
Abstract: If rate of occurrence is a fundamental dimension of behavior, it follows that behavioral process must be extended in time, for a rate cannot occur in an instant, and a slow rate is just as "real" as a rapid one. This implication seems difficult to grasp, perhaps because one can look right through a slow rate of occurrence, even when it is "right here, right now." In contrast, it is intuitively obvious that the organization of a spatial structure can be understood on multiple scales, each yielding particular characteristics that may or may not be evident when contemplated from a broadened or narrowed viewpoint. Verbal behavior provides examples that may make this general aspect of behavioral process more easily discerned. It should be a straightforward matter to demonstrate the functional independence of multiply-scaled aspects of verbal behavior, extended in time, by examining the co-extensive frequencies of utterances that range in scale from features such as the pronunciation of particular syllables (as in a regional accent) to types of conversations (such as arguments).



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