The primary objectives of this webinar are 1) to describe the behaviors we call “listening” (or “paying attention”), 2) to distinguish listening from behaving as a listener (as described by Skinner in his book Verbal Behavior), 3) to describe some implications of the distinction for what we typically refer to as understanding, and 4) to suggest some ways to teach listening behaviors to individuals who lack them. Traditionally, when we command someone to “listen” or “pay attention,” we do not specify any behaviors; listening and paying attention are assumed to be cognitive processes. In this webinar, however, I will suggest that what we usually mean when we say that someone is listening (or paying attention) is that they are engaging in specific verbal behaviors. Thus, according to this analysis, the behaviors involved in speaking and listening are indistinguishable. Although behaving as a listener and listening usually occur together, they need not. Often, nonverbal individuals, including nonhuman animals, can behave to varying degrees as a listener, but do not listen. Therefore, clarifying the distinction between behaving as a listener and listening and describing each in terms of the respective behaviors and learning histories necessary to establish them, are important for understanding each and, practically, for teaching these repertoires.
After attending this event, participants should:
1. Be able to describe (a) the traditional approach to listening, including some of the other words used to describe what is involved, (b) the expressive-receptive distinction and how the phrase “receptive language” is akin to listening, and (c) the problems with the distinction from a behavioral standpoint as well as the problems with traditional approaches to listening.
2. Describe (a) the distinction between hearing and listening in terms of sensation and perception, (b) how sensation and perception are conceptualized, and (c) how one can sense without perceiving and perceive without sensing.
3. Be able to describe (a) the behavioral approach to listening (i.e., be able to answer the question: What is someone doing when she is said to be “listening”? in terms of the actual behaviors involved), including the distinction between behaving as a listener and “listening,”(b) why there are quotation marks around “listening,” and (c) what we speak of as “listening,” in other words, what behaviors can be observed when we say someone is “listening.”
4. Be able to describe how someone engages in (subvocal or subaudible) verbal behavior when she is said to be “listening,” and how echoic and intraverbal behaviors are involved; in other words, be able to describe the roles of both echoic and intraverbal behavior in “listening.”
5. Be able to describe some of the complexities of the behavioral approach to “listening,” including instructing the behavior of the listener, listening and remember, and listening and understanding.
6. Be able to describe some of the implications of the behavioral approach to “listening” for teaching listener behavior and “listening.”
1:00 pm: Introduction
1:05 pm: Pretest
1:10 m: Live webinar begins
2:45 pm: Q & A session/ submit questions via chat function
3:00 pm: Submit attendance codes, take post-test, and fill out confidential evaluation form
Henry D. (Hank) Schlinger Jr. received his Ph.D. in psychology (applied behavior analysis) from
Western Michigan University under the supervision of Jack Michael. He then completed a two-year
National Institutes of Health-funded post-doctoral fellowship in behavioral pharmacology with Alan
Poling. He was a full tenured professor of psychology at Western New England University in
Springfield, MA, before moving to Los Angeles in 1998. He is now professor of psychology and former
director of the M.S. Program in Applied Behavior Analysis in the Department of Psychology at
California State University, Los Angeles. Dr. Schlinger has published numerous scholarly articles and
commentaries in 25 different journals. He also has authored or co-authored three books, Psychology:
A Behavioral Overview (1990), A Behavior-Analytic View of Child Development (1995) (which was
translated into Japanese), and Introduction to Scientific Psychology (1998). He is a past editor of The
Analysis of Verbal Behavior and The Behavior Analyst, and on the editorial boards of several other
journals. He also serves on the Board of Trustees of the Cambridge Center for Behavioral Studies.
Dr. Schlinger does not receive speaker fees for presenting as part of the ABACLive Cambridge
Center Series. These fees are donated directly to The Cambridge Center for Behavioral Studies (TM).
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