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

45.15 Review of the Tact

Let’s consider the tact first. In the discussion of verbal stimuli, we noted that verbal behavior produces a response-product with many features, only a few of which are “verbal.” These other features, being non-verbal, can therefore enter into the tact relationship. The loudness of a verbal response, made either by someone else or the speaker, can evoke the response “loud.” A response emitted under inappropriate circumstances can act as a discriminative stimulus for the tact “incorrect” or “false.” It doesn’t matter who makes the verbal response.


A form of verbal behavior with the following features:

A verbal response

The controlling variable is a non-verbal stimulus, which is an object or event or a property of an object or event

The musculature with which the response is executed (vocal, written, gestural, etc.)

The modality of the stimulus (auditory, visual, gustatory, olfactory, etc.)

Whether or not there is any reinforcement for the current response

The “correctness” of the response

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