Title

Verbal behavior: History and future

Document Type

Article

Publication Title

Behavior Analyst Today

Department

Psychology

ISSN

1539-4352

Volume

3

Issue

1

DOI

10.1037/h0099959

First Page

41

Last Page

44

Publication Date

1-1-2002

Abstract

Reviews the book, Verbal Behavior by B. F. Skinner’s (1957). Since the publication of B. F. Skinner's Verbal Behavior (1957), interest in a behavioral approach to the study of language has grown. Skinner laid an impressive framework for the interpretation of many language-related phenomena that were traditionally left to linguists and philosophers. What Skinner lacked was any sound empirical data to support his analyses. Recently, behavior analysts have suggested that, despite much promise, there is a scarcity of research derived from Skinner's Verbal Behavior. However, in the years since the publication of Verbal Behavior, the amount of verbal behavior research published in peer-reviewed journals and presented at professional conferences has increased. Moreover, technology derived from a behavioral analysis of language has been put to great use in a variety of clinical settings. The future of verbal behavior research and theory seems promising, especially as behavior analysts move toward incorporating into the behavioral arsenal relevant methodological and technological advances from other fields.