Accession Number:

AD0263740

Title:

THE OPERANT CONDITIONING OF CONVERSATION

Descriptive Note:

Corporate Author:

HARVARD MEDICAL SCHOOL BOSTON MASS

Personal Author(s):

Report Date:

1961-08-01

Pagination or Media Count:

1.0

Abstract:

This paper shows how the operant conditioning of serial order of conversation may be carried out without subjects awareness. In post-group interviews with subjects, not one noticed a connection between conversational sequence and getting the right answer, although several suspected that the guessing game was rigged in some way. During the experimental sessions themselves, subjects offered a great variety of complex and often inconsistent hypotheses to account for their increasing success in figuring out how the experimenter devised his list of colors. The results of the studies are all consistent with the hypothesis that the order of speakers in a conversation can be brought under experimental control by manipulating the variable of group reinforcement. In each group, a conversational sequence became established at a given level after about 50 to 100 trials, or within a half hour of conversation. Author

Subject Categories:

Distribution Statement:

APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE