Clocks: Are synchronized behavior controllers. It measures time. We use it to tell us when to behave. It’s a discriminative stimulus (Sd).

Street signs: Are to control your behavior.

Freedom: Being controlled only by positive reinforcers (rewards).

Coercion: A lack of freedom. Control by aversive events (punishers).

Dignity: When people respond without any apparent source of control and the extent to hide what controls us.


ATTENTION: Differential responding to features of complex stimuli. Our behavior is being controlled by a certain stimuli.

AWARENESS: (of the outside and inside world) In order to be aware, we must respond differentially to the stimuli which is a product of discrimination training.

CONSCIOUSNESS: Is to be aware

FEELINGS: Are part of a behavior. “The skin is not an important boundary” between the private or public events; it’s all physical (Skinner).

MENTAL EVENTS: Are replaced with “Private Events”

PRIVATE EVENTS: are events that only your nerves go to.


Such definitions are defined by the controlling contingencies and not by grammatical categories.

COMMAND: Given by Generals, Kings, Emperors. Strongest form of control. Ex. “Bring My Scepter!” It specifies a behavior and the reinforcing object. If you don’t obey, you will be punished by someone else. The listener must obey or he’ll be punished by another person/agent. If that agent doesn’t obey, then he’ll be punished by another agent. The agent is also under the same control as everyone else.

ORDER: We give waitresses order; and sergeants give orders. It’s a mand. Ex. “I order you to clean that rifle!” If listener doesn’t obey, an agent will administer punishment. Ex. The sergeant will call the MP’s. If the MP’s don’t see anything wrong and they refuse to punish, the sergeant can’t do anything. So the agents (MP’s) are not under the same control as he solder.

DEMAND: The individual gives the aversive. The individual specifies the behavior and if the listener doesn’t obey, you administer the punishment. There are no other agents.

REQUEST: Specifying a behavior without any consequences. Specifies a reinforcer for the listener, but no aversive control.

PLEASE: Signals a request. “Please” means nothing. It signals if the listener obeys, it will highly reinforce the asker. The asker indebts himself.

THANK YOU: A reinforcer for repaying the “please”.

YOU’RE WELCOME: A reinforcer for “thank you”.

DON’T MENTION IT: A reinforcer for “You’re welcome”.

POLITENESS: Using “please”, “thank you”, “you’re welcome”, etc. All ways of providing reinforcement to the listener.

ADVISE: Tells what to do where behavior by the listener will give him reinforcement. You benefit by the listener being reinforced because you gain control over them. Ex. You give stock advice and it works, next time they will come back to see you.

WARNING: Specifies behavior by the listener that will avoid the onset of an aversive state.

PERMISSION: It eliminates an aversive contingency. Ex. “May I enter?” They  are allowed to enter without the punishment.

OFFER: Specifies behavior that may reinforce you. Ex. “Take one if you want.” “Would you like a candy?” It is reinforcing to you if it reinforced you in the past.

SUPERSTITION: Behavior that goes beyond what it’s been trained for. A new pieces of behavior that are the result of accidental reinforcement.

MAGIC REQUEST: Emission of a previously learned behavior under circumstances that can not be fulfilled. Ex. You say to sleepers to “wake up”, then later to the dead. Ex. You yell at the team playing on the television.

PRESTIGE: Someone that gets a higher proportion of reinforcers.

CRAZY: When the controlling stimuli are hidden.