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Boletim - Academia Paulista de Psicologia

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MESQUITA, Alex Andrade. A Historic-bibliographic study of verbal behavior evolution in B.F. Skinner's work. Bol. - Acad. Paul. Psicol. [online]. 2015, vol.35, n.88, pp. 1-19. ISSN 1415-711X.

Erroneous interpretations of Skinner's work have hampered the dialogue among scholars of language and behavioral analysis, the author has sometimes been accused of disregarding the influence of biological factors on behavior and of giving little emphasis to the study of language. This study has a bibliographical and historical character and the objective is to identify what, when and how Skinner talks about evolution of verbal behavior and systematizes this knowledge in stages as performed by Skinner (1984, 1975). We selected 20 works of the author among articles and books that refer to themes of evolution and verbal behavior. We performed a categorization in stages of evolution of the verbal behavior and a special topic for writing. In the evolutionary view of the author the first form of verbal behavior was the gesture, through imitation, modeling and shaping occurred the development of oral verbal behavior and then the syntactic development. The writing for its recent character receives little attention in the studied texts, because the cultural selection acts mainly over it. The rejection of other areas for Skinner causes a certain insulation of behavior analytic discourse. It is expected that, from studies such as this one, the reduction of prejudices may occur and new ideas and research lines may arise

Keywords : verbal behavior; language; Skinner.

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