Joint Control and the Generalization of Selection-based Verbal Behavior
Although the acquisition of selection-based verbal behavior can be ascribed
to the acquisition of a conditional discrimination, such an account cannot
explain any generalization of the behavior to novel verbal stimuli.
The problem is that printed and spoken words and phrases do not vary on
continuous dimensions that would support stimulus generalization.
Both conceptual analysis and empirical evidence suggest that an alternate
form of stimulus control, joint control, can more readily account for acquisition
and generalization of these performances. The fact that joint control
depends on topography-based behavior implies that generalized selection-based
behavior is not an alternative to topography-based behavior but depends
on its prior development.