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

25.2 Metaphorical Extension Example #1

If someone had acquired the response “dog” in the presence of several different types of dogs and then saw a fox for the first time and said “dog,” that would be an example of metaphorical extension. The response form is controlled by the many features a fox has that are the same as many of the relevant features of a dog.

A boy is communicating with a pink poodle using a speech bubble.


A boy is communicating with a dog using a speech bubble in a 24.2 Generic Extension Example #1.


A metaphorical cartoon of a boy conversing with a fox.

metaphorical tact extension

Metaphorical Extension

An instance of verbal behavior with the following features:

The response form has been previously acquired

The stimulus must be novel

The novel stimulus has some, but not all, of the relevant features of the stimulus that previously controlled the response

The type of elementary verbal relationship between the stimulus and the response

Formal and dynamic characteristics of both the stimulus and the response

Whether or not the current response is followed by reinforcement

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