Conditioning the Behavior of the Listener: Implications for Rule-Governed Behavior
Understanding rules and rule-governed behavior has been a pervasive conceptual issue in behavior analysis since Skinner’s initial analysis in his book, Verbal Behavior (1957). Since then the exact function of rules and verbal stimuli has been a point of conjecture. In this course, Dr. Hank Schlinger, BCBA-D, provides a detailed overview of the history of the analysis of rules and provides a contemporary perspective on rule-governed behavior informed by Blakely and Schlinger (1987a, 1987b). Dr. Schlinger describes and provides examples of a function-altering approach to understanding the effects of verbal stimuli and the implications this perspective has on rule-governed behavior. Dr. Schlinger concludes with a suggestion that the next step in the analysis of rules might be to abandon the term altogether.
What you’ll learn in the course and be able to do afterward
- Compare and contrast the Skinnerian and clinical psychology analysis of rules
- Define rules according to Skinner.
- Reference Skinner’s discussion of rules in Verbal Behavior (1957)
- Define rules according to other behavior analysts
- Explain why differences in the analysis of rules is problematic for the field
- List the problems associated with describing rules as discriminative stimuli
- Describe Blakely and Schlinger’s (1987a, 1987b) analysis of rules
- Explain the meaning of function-altering effect
- Reference examples of respondent and operant function-altering effects
- Describe how verbal stimuli can have function-altering effects
- Compare and contrast analog and literal conditioning according to Alessi (1992)
- State whether function-altering verbal stimuli are cases of analog or literal conditioning, according to Schlinger
- List implications of a function-altering analysis of verbal events for rules and rule-governed behavior.
- Describe Schlinger’s suggestion for using the term rules in behavior analysis
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