Place, U. T. (1989e). Contingency analysis of naturally occurring verbal interactions [Conference presentation abstract]. British Psychological Society 1989 Abstracts, 67.
[Abstract]The analysis of verbal behaviour in terms of Skinner's (1969)  concept of the three‑term contingency can be made at two different  levels (a) at the semantic level at which the content of an utterance  is analysed in terms of the contingency or contingencies it  "specifies" or "depicts" and (b) at the pragmatic level at which the  utterance is viewed as behaviour in relation to a preceding utterance  by another speaker as antecedent and to a subsequent utterance or  other behaviour emitted by the listener as consequence. A technique is proposed for generating a pragmatic analysis of  naturally occurring verbal interactions based partly on an  interpretation of Harlow's (1959) distinction between "win‑stay/fail‑ shift" and "win‑shift/fail‑stay" contingencies in terms of Michael's  (1982) concept of an "establishing condition" and its reversal, and  partly on a behaviour analytic interpretation of the concepts of  "turn", "sequence", "continuer", "adjacency pair" and "preference  organisation" derived from the vocabulary of conversation analysis  (Heritage 1985).
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Place, U. T. (1997a). Contingency analysis applied to the pragmatics and semantics of naturally occurring verbal interactions. In J. L. Owen (Ed.), Context and communication behavior (Chapter 18, pp. 369-385). Context Press.
[Abstract]Contingency analysis is a technique for analyzing the relation between a living organism and its environment based on a generalized version of Skinner's (1969) concept of the "three-term contingency." It can be applied to the analysis of any sequence of events in which a single individual interacts with its environment or, as in the case of social behavior, in which two or more individuals interact with each other. It is particularly valuable when applied to the analysis of naturally-occurring verbal interactions, such as conversations and business transactions. It can be applied not only to the sequence of events whereby utterances follow one another as the interaction proceeds, their pragmatics, but also to the semantic content of the utterances, the sequence of events called for by what Skinner (1957) calls a "mand" or those recorded or predicted by the kind of declarative sentence he sometimes (Place 1985) calls a "tact".
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Download: 1997a Contingency Analysis Applied to the Pragmatics and Semantics of Naturally Occurring Verbal Interactions.pdf