- soerensen_malks_2013.pdf (460k)
Høgskolen i Oslo og Akershus
Master i læring i komplekse systemer
Language acquisition has been a topic of discussion in several branches of psychology through the last decades. Prior to this, it was a topic reserved to the linguists, but Noam Chomsky changed this fact. At the same time B. F. Skinner revealed his thoughts on the topic. Article one gives a short description of the disagreement between the two and continues into an overview of the behavior analytic view of language acquisition. The fact that sounds can be established as conditioned reinforcers through a classical conditioning procedure will be briefly discussed. This will be compared to the view that a person’s verbal behavior conforms to the verbal behavior of the verbal community surrounding the person because of the phenomenon of parity. Parity as a form of automatic reinforcement will be discussed. Article two describes an experiment which is a replication of Ostvik, Eikeseth, and Klintwall (2012); Wright (2006) and Whitehurst, Ironsmidt, and Goldfein (1974) . The objective was to see if the verbal behavior of the children conformed to that of the experimenter. Three girls aged three years and six months participated in the study. Several pictures were shown to the girls. The experimenter and the subject took turn in describing the pictures. The experimenter always used a grammatical incorrect passive construction to describe the pictures. This construction was defined in advance. The subject’s verbal behavior was recorded and scored into groups of grammatical forms. The forms were: The grammatical incorrect passive construction; a correct passive reversible construction; the age-appropriate active construction and other unspecified verbal behavior. The results indicated that modeling had an effect on the verbal behavior of the children, supposedly in combination with automatic reinforcement via parity.
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