Publications of Place that refer to Skinner (1953). Science and human behavior

Lecture 14: Varieties of explanation in psychology. (6/2/1974). Section 4
Abstract:
The schools of psychology. Feigl's three languages of psychology. Incommensurability in the explanation of behaviour. The evidential basis of mentalist language. The explanation of facts and the explanation of phenomena. Molecular languages in the explanation of behavioral phenomena: cybernetics and neurophysiology. The identity of factual reference.
[References]  
Download: Amsterdam lecture 14

Place, U. T. (1973-11-14). Lecture 7: Linguistic Rules and their classification (14/11/1973). Section 2
Abstract:
The concept of a linguistic rule and the traditional classification into pragmatic, semantic and syntactic rules.
[References]  
Download: Amsterdam Lecture 07 - revised version.pdf

Place, U. T. (1981a). Skinner's Verbal Behavior I - why we need it. Behaviorism, 9, 1-24. www.jstor.org/stable/27758970
Abstract:
To explain behaviour in terms of intension­al or mentalistic concepts is to explain the behaviour in question on the assump­tion of a consistent and rational connection between what the agent does and what he says or what is said to him and that therefore any general account of verbal or linguistic behaviour which employs such concepts is necessarily circular, since it explains the acquisition of linguistic skills on the assumption that the speaker already possesses such skills. It follows that this circularity can only be avoided by developing a theory of verbal or linguistic behaviour which is stated entirely in a nonintensional or extensional language. At the present time, the most developed conceptual system for description and explanation of the behav­iour of organisms at the molar level in purely extensional terms is that provided by the so-called ‘Radical Behaviorism’ of B. F. Skinner and his followers. Fur­thermore, in his book Verbal Behavior Skinner (1957) has used this conceptual framework to develop a theory of verbal or linguistic behaviour which repre­sents the most ambitious attempt made so far to formulate a theory of linguistic behaviour in nonintensional or extensional terms.
Note:
Revised version is from 1999.
[References]  [Is cited by]  [7 referring publications by Place]  
Download: 1981a 1999 Skinner's Verbal Behavior I - Why We Need It - revised version.pdf

Place, U. T. (1985a). A response to Sundberg and Michael. VB News, 3, 38-45. [Reprinted in The Analysis of Verbal Behavior, 3, 41-47]
[References]  [Is reply to]  [4 referring publications by Place]  
Download: 1985a A Response to Sundberg and Michael.pdf

Place, U. T. (1992b). Is there an operant analysis of animal problem-solving? [Conference presentation, presented at 18th Annual Convention of the Association for Behavior Analysis - May 25-28 1992 - San Francisco, California]. Association for Behavior Analysis. Abstract published in Proceedings of 18th Annual Convention of the Association for Behavior Analysis - May 25-28 1992 - San Francisco, California (p. 155). Society for the Advancement of Behavior Analysis.
Abstract:
In 'An operant analysis of problem-solving', Skinner (1966/1969/1988) develops an account of problem-solving based on the distinction between two different ways in which an organism can learn to adapt to environmental contingencies: (1) contingency-shaped behavior in which the behavior of an organism is progressively shaped by repeated exposure to the contingency itself, and (2) rule-governed behavior in which a verbally competent human being adapts to a contingency by constructing a verbal formula or rule which is said to specify" the contingency in question. A rule may be constructed, as in the case of contingency-shaped behavior, in the light of repeated exposure to the contingency itself. It may equally well be based on information about the contingency supplied by another speaker, on information derived from a written text, or on an inference from other rules derived from any or all these sources. It is this case where the agent infers a new rule tailor-made for the problem with which he/she is confronted that Skinner has in mind in offering an analysis of problem-solving in these terms. There is a growing body of empirical evidence (Hayes 1989) which confirms the accuracy of Skinner's description of problem-solving as it occurs in the case of verbally competent human beings. But animals also solve problems; and so do pre-verbal human infants. This kind of problem-solving cannot simply be a matter of contingency-shaping, though previous contingency-shaped behavior is the only resource from which a pre-verbal organism can draw in selecting an appropriate problem-solving strategy. It requires some mechanism like that which Köhler (1925) refers to as "insight" whereby the stimulus class which currently controls a particular response class is somehow stretched so as to include the current stimulus situation. The case for postulating such a behavior mediating mechanism within the conceptual framework of radical behaviorism is argued by appealing (a) to the analogy between attending behavior and thinking by talking to oneself, and (b) to the process whose existence is implied by Skinner's (1938) account of "stimulus class" whereby an organism learns to break up its stimulus environment into stimulus classes "along the natural lines of fracture."
Note:

[References]  [1 referring publications by Place]  
Download: 1992b Is There an Operant Analysis of Animal Problem-Solving.pdf

Place, U. T. (1997d). Rescuing the science of human behavior from the ashes of socialism. Psychological Record, 47, 649-659. doi:10.1007/BF03395251
Abstract:
The discredit into which the socialist ideal has fallen as a consequence of recent political events calls into question, not just the viability of a particular political and economic system but, the very idea that the social order can be improved by applying principles derived from the scientific study of human social behavior. Before the collapse of socialism, the idea of a science of human behavior, construed in biological terms as a branch of the science of the behavior of free-moving living organisms in general, had been undermined by Chomsky's (1959) repudiation of the behaviorist project to construct a science of language (verbal behavior) based on principles derived from the study of animal learning. I contend that only by reinstating the link between linguistics and the study of animal learning can confidence be restored in the possibility of a genuine science of human behavior with application to the problem of constructing a better social order.
[References]  [1 referring publications by Place]  
Download: 1997d Rescuing the Science of Human Behavior from the Ashes of Socialism.pdf

Place, U. T., & Wheeler Vega, J. A. (1999). An anticipation of reversal theory within a conceptual-analytic and behaviorist perspective [Conference presentation, presented by the second author at the 9th International Conference on Reversal Theory, June 28 - July 2]. University of Windsor, Ontario, Canada.
Abstract:
Michael Apter denies that behaviorism can provide an adequate account of human action, referring to it in one place as "a kind of methodological vandalism" (Apter, 1989, p. 2). It is the purpose of this paper to show how the first author came, as a behaviorist and analytic philosopher, to a position that anticipates reversal theory to a surprising extent. The basis of this position is an analysis of polar statements concerning 'wanting': 'X wants O', and 'X does not want O'. These sentences imply a number of corollaries. For example, if 'X wants O', then: 'X will be pleased if O appears', 'X will be worried if it looks as if O will not appear', and 'X will be angry or miserable if O fails to appear'. Contrasting entailments follow ‘X does not want O'. These implications display the relationship between the motivational concepts of 'wanting' and 'not wanting', and emotion concepts such as being pleased, worried, angry, miserable, &c. This set of reciprocally related entailments provide, it will be argued, the conceptual foundation of reversal theory. This analysis led the first author to develop a behavioral theory of emotion, in which the various emotions can be located on two dimensions (after Myers, 1923): 'pleasant/unpleasant', and 'high-arousal/low-arousal'. Emotions are distinguished by reference to a third variable: a characteristic 'impulse' appropriate to the type of contingency in which the emotion in question is evoked. The notions of 'wanting' and 'not wanting' are defined, in the language of operant psychology, as differences in the reinforcing effect of actual and potential stimuli with respect to actual and potential operant responses by the organism. Some illustrative clinical and experimental applications of the theory by the first author, in the 1960's, are outlined.
[References]  
Download: Place & Wheeler Vega (1999) An Anticipation of Reversal Theory within a Conceptual Analytic and Behaviorist Perspective.pdf