The primary objectives of this session are 1) to describe the behaviors we call “listening,” 2) to teach attendees to distinguish them from the behaviors of a listener (as described by Skinner in his book Verbal Behavior), and 3) to discuss ways to teach listening behaviors to individuals who lack them. Traditionally, when we command that someone “listen” or “pay attention,” we do not specify any behaviors- listening and paying attention are assumed to be cognitive processes. In this talk, 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 behaviors, including echoic and intraverbal behaviors. Thus, at one level, 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 can behave to varying degrees as a listener, but do not listen. Therefore, after 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, I will conclude by suggesting ways to teach both repertoires.
August 6 – 9, 2018
The Penn Stater Hotel and Conference Center
State College, Pennsylvania