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

45.8 Definition of Secondary Verbal Behavior

The third level of complexity involves the final two concepts to be presented in this tutorial. This level can be said to involve verbal behavior about verbal behavior. Verbal behavior that is in some way controlled by the speaker’s own ongoing verbal behavior is the subject of this final part of the tutorial. The elementary verbal relationships – mand, tact, intraverbal, echoic, textual, copying a text, and taking dictation – may be called primary verbal behavior. In all of these relationships except the mand and the tact, the controlling variable is some sort of verbal stimulus. There is no reason why that verbal stimulus cannot be the response product of the speaker’s own ongoing verbal behavior. When this occurs it is called secondary verbal behavior. A few examples will illustrate this point.

A cartoon woman with a speech bubble saying i am talking.
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