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

26.2 Metonymical Extension Example #1

Because any feature of an occasion may gain some control over a response reinforced on that occasion, it is possible for irrelevant stimulus features to gain control of a response. For example, in the United States, it is often reported by the press that a statement was issued “by the White House.” Skinner says this type of extension occurs because the stimulus frequently accompanies the relevant features.

Metonymical Extension

An instance of verbal behavior with the following features:

The response form has already been acquired in one or more of the elementary verbal relationships

The stimulus must be novel

The novel stimulus must have none of the relevant features of the class of stimuli that previously controlled the response

The type of elementary verbal relationship

Formal and dynamic characteristics of both the stimulus and the response

Whether or not the current response is followed by reinforcement

The white house logo with a speech bubble, showcasing a metonymical extension.
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