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

28.2 Private Stimuli and the Verbal Community

Training would be much more difficult if the stimuli were present only for the learner, and the trainer had to guess whether or not the appropriate stimuli for a given response were present. Unfortunately for both the verbal community and the individual, this is precisely the problem that must be overcome when the verbal community tries to teach an individual to describe their own private stimuli. Only the individual is in contact with the stimuli arising from some event like a toothache. The trainer can only assume or infer that the appropriate stimuli are present when someone says “toothache.”

A cartoon of a woman and a man conversing about their dental health.
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