This book, which Skinner often call his most important work, extends the laboratory-based principles of selection by consequences to account for what people say, write, gesture, and think. Skinner argues that verbal behavior requires a separate analysis because it does not operate on the environment directly, but rather through the behavior of other peoples in a verbal community. He illustrates his thesis with examples from literature, the arts, and the sciences, as well as from his own verbal behavior and that of his colleagues and children.
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Not a book for the beginner: one should start with Skinner's Science and Human Behavior to prepare for this tome.
This is an outline of how a Radical Behaviorist can study Verbal Behavior as behavior, not with the traditional linguistic or cognitive approach.
Many, including psychologists & linguists, are more familiar with Noam Chomsky's review than the book itself. Unfortunately, that has turned many away from actually reading the book itself. Those who have read the book and Chomsky's review often wonder what book Chomsky read.
Review: Verbal BehaviorUser Review - Goodreads
This is a difficult read, which requires full commitment (eg, re-reading, note-taking). If you're interested in ABA and verbal behavior, however, it's a must read. Read full review
Verbal Behavior Under the Control of Verbal Stimuli
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