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.


40th Annual Convention; Chicago, IL; 2014

Workshop Details

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Workshop #W48
CE Offered: PSY/BACB
CANCELED: Skinner's Verbal Behavior, Chomsky's Review, and the Naming Account
Friday, May 23, 2014
4:00 PM–7:00 PM
W175b (McCormick Place Convention Center)
Area: VRB/TPC; Domain: Theory
CE Instructor: Marleen T. Adema, Ph.D.
MARLEEN T. ADEMA (Independent Behavior Analyst (BCBA-D))
Description: This workshop gives an introduction to Skinner's view on verbal behavior and its acquisition. His functional approach will be described, including the verbal operants he distinguished. These verbal operants (e.g., mand, tact, intraverbal) now have an important role within applied work with children with developmental delays. Skinner's (1957) book Verbal Behavior was heavily criticized by Chomsky (1959) in a lengthy review. Chomsky's critical comments will be discussed, as well as responses by behavior analysts. Chomsky's review was and is seen by some as having defeated Skinner and having terminated all work in the area of verbal behavior. But Skinner's book continues to influence both applied and experimental work. One example of this is experimental work on naming. Horne and Lowe's (1996) naming account will be described, and an overview will be given of research that tested this account. Implications of the naming account and naming research with typically developing children for verbal interventions in populations with learning disabilities will also be noted.
Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of this workshop, the participant will be able to (1) define verbal behavior; (2) distinguish Skinner's functional account from the linguists' structural approach to language; (3) distinguish between the verbal operants; (4) identify implications of Skinner's account of verbal behavior for applied behavior analysis; (5) describe the main points of Chomsky's review; (6) describe the main points of behavior analytic responses to Chomsky; (7) define the name relation and specify the characteristics of the naming account; (8) judge whether the naming account has provided any testable predictions; (9) identify whether the naming account has generated any research and, if so, evaluate whether results are in line with the naming account; and (10) identify possible implications of the naming account for applied behavior analysis.
Activities: Participants will listen to presentations on the topics outlined above, including research data, and take part in discussions of and exercises in the analysis of verbal behavior. Examples of verbal behavior will be provided through video. Precision teaching methods will be used to measure learning.
Audience: This workshop is appropriate for BACB certificants, licensed psychologists, and anyone else seeking an introduction (or refresher) to Skinner's book Verbal Behavior, Chomsky's review, and naming.
Content Area: Theory
Instruction Level: Basic
Keyword(s): Chomsky's Review, Naming Account, VB Applications, Verbal Behavior



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