Introductory Concepts
Elementary Relationships
Extensions of Verbal Behavior
Multiple Controlling Relationships
Building on the Elementary Relationships

20.7 Second Type of Audience Control

If, however, the same stimulus tends to evoke either the response “dog” or the response “canine,” then the audience may also determine which of the response forms is emitted. In the presence of a friend, the less technical form of “dog” may result. In the presence of a zoology instructor, “canine” may be evoked instead. Even though the controlling variable of the dog is the same in these two cases, the audience is different and two different response forms are evoked.

A black and tan dog with a speech bubble demonstrating 20.6 First Type of Audience Control.
A dog with a speech bubble.
Zoology Instructor


A type of controlling variable with the following features:

The audience is usually a listener in the presence of whom verbal behavior is typically reinforced

It controls a group of response forms

Whether or not the listener provides reinforcement for the current response

The size or specific nature of the response forms controlled

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