Association for Behavior Analysis International

The Association for Behavior Analysis International® (ABAI) is a nonprofit membership organization with the mission to contribute to the well-being of society by developing, enhancing, and supporting the growth and vitality of the science of behavior analysis through research, education, and practice.


34th Annual Convention; Chicago, IL; 2008

Event Details

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Invited Panel #467
CE Offered: BACB
The Role of the Listener in the Analysis of Verbal Behavior
Monday, May 26, 2008
3:30 PM–4:50 PM
International North
Area: VRB/TPC; Domain: Theory
Chair: William F. Potter (California State University, Stanislaus)
CE Instructor: Mark L. Sundberg, Ph.D.
Panelists: MARK L. SUNDBERG (Sundberg and Associates), DAVID C. PALMER (Smith College), PHILIP N. HINELINE (Temple University), HENRY D. SCHLINGER (California State University, Los Angeles)

Listening is action, as one can plainly see when someone abruptly turns off the stereo in the middle of a stirring passage of music. We sing along to music, and we speak along with speakers, but the dimensions of this behavior are obscure, and the role it plays in the complex effects verbal behavior has on the listener is unknown. A common misunderstanding about Skinner's(1957) analysis of verbal behavior is that he neglects the behavior of the listener. It is true that he shifts the primary focus of the analysis to the speaker. However, the listener still plays a critical role in a behavioral analysis of language. For example, in reacting to autoclitics, if autoclitic relations are to be operative, the listener's discriminations must coordinate with those of the speaker. This panel will explore the range of potential listener behavior and discuss the extent to which interpretations of complex behavior require an understanding of it, and whether the domain is experimentally too intractable to bring into order.

MARK L. SUNDBERG (Sundberg and Associates)
Dr. Mark L. Sundberg received his doctorate degree in Applied Behavior Analysis from Western Michigan University (1980). He is the founder and past editor of the journal The Analysis of Verbal Behavior, and co-author of the books Teaching Language to Children with Autism or Other Developmental Disabilities, The ABLLS, and A Collection of Reprints on Verbal Behavior. He has published over 40 professional papers, given over 400 conference presentations and workshops, and taught 80 college courses on behavior analysis, verbal behavior, sign language, and child development. He is a past-president of the Northern California Association for Behavior Analysis, and a past-chair of ABA’s Publication Board. Dr. Sundberg has received numerous awards, including the 2001 “Distinguished Psychology Department Alumnus Award” from Western Michigan University.
DAVID C. PALMER (Smith College)
Dr. David C. Palmer held a bachelor’s degrees in geology and English, while devoting his post-graduate years to avoiding the draft when he chanced to pick up a copy of Walden Two from a friend’s bookshelf. He read the rest of the Skinner canon and spent the next decade trying to start an experimental community and preaching radical behaviorism to anyone who would listen. Eventually he entered graduate school under the guidance of John Donahoe. He was happy in grad school and would be there still if the University of Massachusetts had not threatened to change the locks. He has spent the last 18 years as the token behaviorist at Smith College. During that time he co-authored, with Donahoe, Learning and Complex Behavior. He continues to puzzle over the interpretation of memory, problem-solving, and, particularly, verbal behavior. He still thinks Skinner was right about nearly everything.
PHILIP N. HINELINE (Temple University)
Dr. Philip N. Hineline received a BA from Hamilton College and a Ph.D. from Harvard University and spent three years at the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research before moving to Temple University, where he is now a Professor. While developing the “interteach format” for use in classroom teaching, he has maintained a laboratory-based teaching environment, where much of the mentoring occurs between graduate and undergraduate students. He has served as Associate Editor, as Editor, and as Review Editor of the Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior. He has been President of ABA International, as well as of Division 25 of the American Psychological Association, the Eastern Psychological Association, and the Society for the Experimental Analysis of Behavior. He has received several awards for excellence in teaching, research, and service to the field, the most recent being the Fred S. Keller Behavioral Education Award, from Division 25 of the American Psychological Association. His conceptual writing has addressed the characteristics of explanatory language and the controversies that have confronted behavior analysis. His basic research has focused upon temporal extension in behavioral/psychological processes, with recent applied work evaluating behavioral interventions and addressing skill acquisition for persons who implement those interventions.
HENRY D. SCHLINGER (California State University, Los Angeles)
Dr. Hank Schlinger received his Ph.D. in Psychology from Western Michigan University where he also completed a post-doctoral fellowship in behavioral pharmacology. He was a professor of psychology at Western New England College in Massachusetts before moving to Los Angeles in 1999. He is now Assistant Professor of Psychology and Coordinator of the M.S. Program in Applied Behavior Analysis at California State University, Los Angeles. Dr. Schlinger has authored (or co-authored) three books Psychology: A Behavioral Overview (1990), A Behavior-Analytic View of Child Development (1995) (which was translated into Japanese), Introduction to Scientific Psychology (1998) and more than forty scientific articles.



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