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Verbal Behavior

4.11  ·  Rating details ·  259 ratings  ·  9 reviews
“Verbal Behavior” is a 1957 book by psychologist B. F. Skinner that analyzes human behavior, encompassing what is traditionally called language, linguistics, or speech. For Skinner, verbal behavior is subject to the same controlling variables as any other operant behavior, although Skinner differentiates between verbal behavior which is mediated by other people, and that w ...more
Paperback, 478 pages
Published November 19th 2002 by Copley Publishing Group (first published 1957)
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4.11  · 
Rating details
 ·  259 ratings  ·  9 reviews

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Aug 05, 2011 rated it it was amazing
This was Skinner's most audacious move. He took up the challenge from A.N. Whitehead to try and explain verbal behavior. Not a bad try at the time, given the theoretical framework available in the 1950's. We're a bit further down the road now. I'd make this comparison: "Verbal Behavior" is to verbal behavior as "The Origin of Species" is to contemporary genetics, if you know what I mean...
Nov 25, 2008 rated it it was amazing
A seminal work. Really. Half a century later, the concepts in this book are the bedrock of some of the most empirically-validated approaches to teaching language to children diagnosed with autism. A radically different way to think about how and why we talk -- but also confusing and dry.
Jul 29, 2015 rated it really liked it
This is a difficult read, which requires full commitment (e.g., re-reading, note-taking). If you're interested in ABA and verbal behavior, however, it's a must read.
Feb 18, 2011 rated it really liked it
A difficult read that requires commitment to finishing. However, unbeatable in every way. A wonderful theoretical case for how verbal behavior develops and how it is maintained.
Dec 31, 2017 rated it really liked it
Good luck.
Jun 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing

You need to read this book.

Aside from the Bible, it is the most amazing book that exists.
Nov 22, 2012 rated it liked it
I only give it three stars because a lot of it went over my head. It is a dense book, but not in a bad way. I want to reread it soon and also re-rate it after I finish it.
Theoretically impoverished as it is, this is an imposing work of surprising erudition, depth and clarity.
Tiffany Wilbourn
Read for a class...I like the application of this theory. VERY hard to read!! It's a completely different language!!!
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Burrhus Frederic Skinner was a highly influential American psychologist, author, inventor, advocate for social reform and poet. He was the Edgar Pierce Professor of Psychology at Harvard University from 1958 until his retirement in 1974. He invented the operant conditioning chamber, innovated his own philosophy of science called Radical Behaviorism, and founded his own school of experimental resea ...more