Building on Skinner’s (1957) Verbal Behavior, Horne and Lowe (1996) provided a detailed account of how aspects of verbal behavior can be learned, particularly naming and categorisation. They outlined how learning the same name for disparate stimuli may establish category relations between these stimuli. Naming is defined as a higher-order bidirectional behavioral relation that combines conventional speaker and listener behavior within the individual. It does not require reinforcement of both speaker and listener behavior for each new name to be established, and it relates to classes of objects and events. In this presentation, I will give a basic introduction to the naming account, and an overview of the Bangor research on naming and categorisation that tested the predictions of the account. Research initially focused on naming and categorization at one level, and was then extended to different levels (hierarchical categorisation). Based on the data, I will evaluate the predictions of the naming account. And finally, I will highlight the implications of the naming account and naming research with typically developing children for verbal interventions in populations with learning disabilities.
Review Dr. Marleen Adema’s biographical statement.