Behavioral and Brain Sciences

Short Communication

Does the new paradigm in ape-language research ape behaviorism?

Joseph J. Pear a1
a1 Department of Psychology, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Manitoba, R3T 2N2, Canada


Although Shanker & King (S&K) disregard the behavioral paradigm, their arguments are reminiscent of those in Skinner's Verbal Behavior (1957). Like S&K, Skinner maintained that communication is not appropriately characterized as the transmission of information between individuals. In contrast to the paradigm advocated by S&K, however, the behavioral paradigm emphasizes prediction and control as important scientific goals.