Search Results for 'language'


Group: Neuroscience
From Skinner (e.g., 1938, 1974) on behavioral scientists have been interested in a unified, rigorous, scientific approach to the interplay between behavior and neurophysiology. The purpose of this section of the website is to present the work of behaviora…
Group: Verbal Behavior & Language
Welcome to Cambridge Center's section dedicated to verbal behavior. Behavioral science views language as verbal behavior (e.g., speaking, writing, signing) that comes about by interacting with others, called the verbal community. From this view, verbal …
Resource: Introduction to Verbal Behavior
A brief introduction to verbal behavior by Professor Charlie Catania
Resource: Hefferline Notes
A joint venture among the Center, the B.F. Skinner Foundation, and David Palmer leads to the publication of a .pdf document of the Hefferline Notes, Ralph Hefferline's notes on Skinner's lectures on verbal behavior at Columbia University in the summer of…
Resource: Verbal Behavior: William James Lectures
By agreement among the Center, the B.F. Skinner Foundation, and David Palmer, The William James Lectures are published as a .pdf document. These lectures were given by Skinner in 1948 at Harvard University as a precursor to Verbal Behavior (1957). The sea…
Resource: Talking with Kids: The Early Years
Even before your child can talk to you, what, how often, and how much you say to your child can have a profound impact on their language and learning abilities later. Researchers at the University of Kansas have found that the number and quality of the wo…
Resource: Raising Good Kids in Tough Times: What's the Right Th…
Talking with kids at a family gathering can challenge your conversational skills. The usual questions so easily handled by the adults may not work. If the pace is too quick, a child or teen can be terrified of making an embarrassing flub.
Resource: Your Language Makes a Difference
This article discusses the importance of modeling good language when talking with teens. In a desperate need for identity and to "be somebody," these teens selected the worst examples from movies and TV which often justify profanity as ordinary and reali…
Resource: Chomsky's Formal Analysis of Natural Languages: A Beh…
The controversy between cognitive and behavioral accounts is in part simply a matter of speaking of the same things in different ways. But sometimes also, as when we fall to distinguish between structural and functional problems, controversies arise becau…
Resource: Computer Modeling of Verbal Behavior
The Cambridge Center for Behavioral Studies has had a long interest in language simulation, as the original sponsor of an annual competition characterized as the "first instantiation of the Turing Test." Ken Stephens provides a review of conversant system…
Resource: On Chomsky's Review of Skinner's Verbal Behavior
Skinner's book, Verbal Behavior, was published in 1957. Chomsky's review of it appeared in 1959. Chomsky's review was, to put it mildly, displeased. It was also a virtuoso performance whose echoes reverbered throughout psychology. This article provided th…
Resource: Review of Conversant Systems
The Standard Turing Test, proposed by Alan Turing in 1950 as a test of whether machines can actually think, is an exercise in making human judges think a computer program is actually a human. After eleven years of contests, it is appropriate to look back …
Resource: The Speaker as Listener: The Interpretation of Struct…
Regularities in word order not specifically addressed by Skinner require behavioral interpretation if our field is to become more influential among students of language. It is argued that the variables controlling such regularities derive from the speaker…
Resource: Behavioral Contingency Analysis by Francis Mechner, P…
Behavior is a complex subject matter involving multiple functions that change over time, and as a result its own symbolic language is helpful for describing change. Francis Mechner's Behavioral Contingency Analysis provides this language. It describes all…
Resource: The Long Good-Bye: Why B. F. Skinner’s Verbal Behav…
The year 2007 marked the 50th anniversary of the publication of B. F. Skinner's Verbal Behavior, a book that by Skinner's own account was his most important. The received view, however, is that a devastating review by a young linguist not only rendered Sk…
Resource: Learning to use the Language of Emotions. (2010). Bon…
B.F. Skinner provided an important guide to the analysis of language in his book, Verbal Behavior. In this book, he stresses the critical value to focusing on the function of various aspects of communication. His analysis includes a very interesting secti…
Resource: Behavior and Philosophy, 42, 83-115 (2014). PROPOSITI…
ABSTRACT: A formal symbolic language for behavioral operations is proposed, based on propositional logic. The system describes how an experiment changes an organism's physical environment. With few exceptions, the codification system results in statements…
Resource: Behavior and Philosophy, 39/40, 93-102 (2011/2012). M…
ABSTRACT: Rakover has thought about the nature of explanation for a long time and he has written some insightful pieces on the possibility of incorporating mentalistic language into serious explanations of our activities. Here he takes an extreme tack and…
Resource: Behavior and Philosophy, 38, 61-81 (2010). REPLY TO C…
Six of the seven commentaries expressed basic agreement with our characterization of dispositioning as a typically unacknowledged, pervasive, and often problematic explanatory practice. One of these (Glenn) situated our own interpretive activity within th…
Resource: Behavior and Philosophy, 37, 87-104 (2009). INTENTIO…
Discrepancies between animal and human responding on standard schedules of reinforcement have been explained by reference to the human capacity for language and consequent formulation of self-instructions. As a result, schedule responding has been causall…
Resource: Behavior and Philosophy, 37, 165-180 (2009). NATURALI…
In an earlier essay in this journal, the estimable John Staddon charges B. F. Skinner and E. O. Wilson with committing several fallacies while promoting evolutionary ethics. The present essay replies that what Staddon regards as fallacies are signal contr…
Resource: Behavior and Philosophy, 37, 217-222 (2009). ASCRIBI…
Much of the commentary on my paper "Intentional behaviorism" (Foxall, 2007) fails to make contact with my central arguments about the use of intentional language in the explanation of behavior. Marr's (2008) remarks on my responses to that commentary (Fox…
Resource: Behavior and Philosophy, 36, 1-4 (2008). PETER HARZEM…
Peter was a wonderful human being who showed us through his intelligence, scholarship, wit, and honesty that psychology has a long way to go. All of us will miss him in this journey.
Resource: Behavior and Philosophy, 36, 5-69 (2008). DISPOSITION…
"Now" is privileged in most psychological theories, which portray their processes as proceeding from moment-to-moment. As in any science, this adherence to contiguous causation hinders an account of phenomena that involve remote events or temporally ex…
Resource: Behavior and Philosophy, 35, 77-92 (2007). GORDON FOX…
"Intentional behaviorism" is Gordon Foxall's name for his proposal to mix the oil of mentalist language with the water of empiricist behaviorism. The trouble is, oil and water don't mix. To remain scientific, the language of behavioral science must rema…
Resource: Behavior and Philosophy, 35, 113-130, (2007). COMMENT…
Professor Foxall suggests the radical behaviorist language of contingencies is fine as far as it goes, and is quite suitable for matters of prediction and control. However, he argues that radical behaviorist language is extensional, and that it is neces…
Resource: Behavior and Philosophy, 34, 71-87 (2006). OF WHAT VA…
The book Philosophical Foundations of Neuroscience (2003) is an engaging criticism of cognitive neuroscience from the perspective of a Wittgensteinian philosophy of ordinary language. The authors' main claim is that assertions like "the brain sees" and …
Resource: Behavior and Philosophy, 34, 109-121 (2006). HUMAN BE…
Language has been traditionally considered as a special psychological or behavioral phenomenon, with a logical status similar to other phenomena such as learning, memory, and thinking. Based on Wittgenstein's notion of language game, I argue that langu…
Resource: Behavior and Philosophy, 32, 465-478 (2004). ON "SOCI…
Scientific knowledge as opposed to common-sense knowledge entails a methodological revolution based on a search not for essences, in Aristotelian sense, but for mathematical functions, in Galilean sense, originated from the controlled experiment and fo…
Resource: Behavior and Philosophy, 31, 1-17 (2003). THE RELATIV…
Psychological interpretations of intelligence have varied considerably. Theoretical approaches have differed, among other things, with respect to the number, type, and level of abilities implied by the concept. Recent investigations have suggested, mor…
Resource: Behavior and Philosophy, 31, 159-164 (2003). PRIVATE …
While the verdict is still out on the viability of such an empirical program, given various methodological and other complexities, the functional analysis of psychological terms represents a possible point of contact between the empirical research inte…
Resource: Behavior and Philosophy, 30, 15-20 (2002). PERFECT FO…
A review of a novel by Marilyn Schwartz and the Task Force on Bias-Free Language of the Association of American University Presses. Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press, 1995.
Resource: Behavior and Philosophy, 29, 61-62 (2001). STEPPING D…
Adding relational frame theory and equivalence-class stimulus relations to the operant-based distinction of rulegoverned and contingency-shaped behavior may not be the soundest strategy. I make this assertion based upon the inherent conceptual and logi…
Resource: Behavior and Philosophy, 26, 45-61 (1998). INTENTIONA…
History has shown, and continues to show, that ordinary language is not enough when faced with such goals, tasks, and contexts. What has been necessary is the development of a different way of interacting with the phenomena of interest, and the differe…
Item: Learning, Fifth Edition
Learning, Interim (5th) Edition by A. Charles Catania Emphasizing research findings and basic concepts, the Interim (5th) Edition surveys the major areas in the psychology of learning from a consistent behavioral point of view. As in previous editions…
Item: Don't Shoot the Dog! Revised Edition
Don't Shoot the Dog! By Karen PryorKaren Pryor's clear and entertaining explanation of behavioral training methods made Don't Shoot the Dog! A bestselling classic. Now this revised edition presents more of her insights into animal-and human-behavior. A gr…
Item: Getting Started:Clicker Training for Dogs
Getting Started: Clicker Training for DogsKaren Pryor's clicker training is the most compelling demonstration of dog training that I have ever seen. No dog should go without this information. Nicholas Dodman, D.V.M., The Dog Who Loved Too Much Through …
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