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

26.3 Metonymical Extension Example #2

Sometimes a response may occur in a situation in which there appears to be no appropriate stimulus present. For example, a young boy may often have had an orange for breakfast. He may sit down one morning when there is no orange on the table and still say “orange.” Responses are not controlled by the absence of something, so we must find some aspect of the current situation that is controlling the response. Skinner accounts for the tendency to say “orange” in this example by suggesting that all of the other features of the breakfast table can also gain some control over the response.

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

A boy is eating orange cereal with a speech bubble, showcasing a metonymical extension.
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