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Anxiety, Verbal behavior


It has been suggested (Krasner, I958, I965; Williams, 196^; Williams and Blanton, I968) that operant verbal conditioning resembles psychotherapy in that both can be seen as belonging in a broad class of behavior influencing techniques. Krasner (I965) says that if changes in verbal behavior can be shown to have consequences for changes in other kinds of behavior, then systematic modification of verbalization itself can be called treatment. Given this point of view, the empirical question to be answered then is, "Does reinforcement of a particular response class through verbal conditioning procedures lead to changes, not only in verbal behaviors, but in other overt behaviors as well, in a variety of situations?" In other words, if this position is valid, it should be experimentally demonstrable that operant verbal conditioning, aside from simply modifying verbal behavior, can result in substantial modification of other behaviors in a variety of situations, not just in the original conditioning situation.