Conditioning the Behavior of the Listener: Implications for Rule-Governed Behavior

Wednesday, June 7, 2017
All day event
Event Type
Continuing Education
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Conditioning the Behavior of the Listener: Implications for Rule-Governed Behavior

Time: 1 hour, 39 minutes 

Presenter: Hank Schlinger

​Description: This course outlines Skinner’s role in the discussion of rule-governed behavior in behavior analysis, how other behavior analysts took up the mantle, but how Skinner’s discussion of instruction and conditioning the behavior of the listener in his book, Verbal Behavior (1957) should have laid the foundation for his view on rules, but didn’t. The course then suggests that if the term “rules’ should be retained, it should be for the function-altering effects of verbal stimuli that Skinner described when the listener’s behavior is conditioned. Alternatively, behavior analysts should simply abandon the term in favor of a functional analysis of the effects of verbal stimuli.


  1. Describe what prompted Skinner to begin talking about rules and rule-governed behavior and how cognitive psychologists viewed them.
  2. State how Skinner defined a rule.
  3. Explain how other behavior analysts talked about (i.e., defined) rules.
  4. Describe how Skinner (1957) said the behavior of the listener is conditioned both respondently and operantly and what term he used.
  5. State how Blakely and Schlinger (1987a, 1987b) used the term “function altering”
  6. Explain how Pavlovian and operant conditioning illustrate function-altering effects of environmental events.
  7. Describe some implications of a function-altering view of conditioning.
  8. Describe how verbal stimuli can be function altering.
  9. Describe how function-altering verbal stimuli might be analogues of conditioning.
  10. Describe how “any salient verbalization can condition a listener’s behavior.”
  11. Explain how Skinner talked about relational frames.
  12. Explain whether such verbal conditioning is analogue or literal conditioning.
  13. Describe the implications of a function-altering analysis of verbal events for rules and rule-governed behavior.

Keywords: Rule Governed Behavior, Verbal Behavior, Conditioning, Listener

Rating: This course is recommended for Certified practitioners in the field of Behavior Analysts (BCBAs and BCaBAs) and professionals with background knowledge of the concepts and principles of behavior analysis. 

Credit: 2 BACB® Type II CEs
Note*: The two weeks begin at time of purchase, not time of log in; purchasing multiple course subscriptions will not extend your access. A two-week extension can be purchased for an additional $15.00; contact for details. 

If you experience problems when registering, please call 321-674-8382, Option 2.

Refund Policy

No refunds are provided once the course is accessed.

These workshops are presented in partnership between the Florida Tech ABA Online program and ABA Technologies, Inc. ABA Technologies, Inc., is a BACB-approved provider of type-2 continuing education hours (Provider Number: OP-02-0023).

Price: $26.00

For more information, please contact Florida Tech, Continuing Education Dept. at 1-321-674-8382 or email at 


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