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B.F. Skinner’s Analysis of Verbal Behavior, Part 1

4 hours, 37 minutes
5.0 BACB

“When people try and read this Skinner book, they put it down. People have a hard time reading the book. A lot of people complain about the complexities of Verbal Behavior, and one of the variables is that you’ve got to already know this [referring to the basic principles of operant behavior]. Skinner does not define stimulus control, or reinforcement, or extinction, or take you through intermittent reinforcement, so as a reader when you approach Verbal Behavior, you’ve got to have that in your repertoire.”

Mark L. Sundberg, PhD, BCBA-D


Skinner’s Verbal Behavior may be a difficult read for some. The content is complex but unpacks all aspects of verbal behavior. One can gain a lot of insight from his book if completely understanding it. In part 1 of this analysis, Mark Sundberg explains how language is typically measured and how Skinner suggests language should be measured, and in what units to measure it. He elaborates on the complexity of motivating operations (MO’s) and how each of the verbal operants relates to MO’s. This CE also contains several exercises to practice identifying examples of the different verbal operants.

Learning Objectives

What you’ll learn in the course and be able to do afterward

  1. Given the traditional description and Skinner’s description of language, you will be able to
    • compare and contrast both methods of measurement;
    • explain both definitions of language;
    • define the verbal operants;
    • identify the three sources of antecedent control.
  2. Given the full description of MO’s you will be able to
    • compare EO’s and stimulus control;
    • list five issues with MO’s and mands;
    • explain how they relate to the tact, echoic, and intraverbal;
    • identify several examples of various verbal operants.


This course is delivered through Florida Tech. Clicking "Enroll Now" will take you to Florida Tech’s website where you can Add to CartCheckout, and complete the course. Come back to our website for podcasts, blogs, courses, and content.


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