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February 1969

Verbal Behavior Conditionability of Schizophrenics and Normals Within Free Operant Paradigm

Author Affiliations

Oklahoma City
From the Behavioral Science Laboratories, VA Hospital, Oklahoma City, and the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, University of Oklahoma School of Medicine.

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1969;20(2):167-173. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1969.01740140039004

IN THE past decade there has been increasing interest in the role of social reinforcement in behavior control and shaping of verbalization in psychotherapy.1-3 Closely related to this trend are studies which have been focused on the investigation of lan guage deficit in schizophrenic patients.4-6 Accordingly, this project was conceived to investigate verbal behavior of schizophrenic and normal Ss within a free operant conditioning paradigm. More specifically, the begavuir was studied as a function of group size and relevancy of feedback in an attempt to gain data based on acquisition rates of verbal self-reference by the two populations.

Among different approaches aimed at assessment of psychological deficit7 in schizophrenia, a substantial body of literature has been accumulated around the issues of concept attainment, modes of reinforcement, affect, set, drive, and somatic arousal.8 One of the predominant orientations in

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