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ABAC & ABAI VB-SIG Legends Series: Dr. Mark Sundberg: Jack Michael’s refinements of Skinner’s (1957) book Verbal Behavior


ABAC is honored to partner with the ABAI VB-SIG to bring you the limited run Legends Series.
Beginning June 2021 and going to December 2021, Join us for four unique events featuring David Palmer, Mark Sundberg, Vincent Carbone, and Hank Schlinger.
Each speaker will present for 1-hour and following their event, they will be interviewed live by a member of the VB Special Interest Group.

Register Now:  Dr. Mark Sundberg

Jack Michael’s refinements of Skinner’s (1957) book Verbal Behavior

Thursday,  8/12/2021 6:00-7:30 pm eastern (New York)

Recording Availability: You must register prior to the LIVE event to have access to the video.   Video closes 8/22/21 at 11:59 pm eastern (New York)

Mark Your Calendars and Check Your ABAC Emails for Registration Announcements
  • Dr. Vince Carbone      10/27/2021
  • Dr. Henry Schlinger    12/01/2021

VB-SIG MEMBERS – You are entitled to members only price. Please check your email from the SIG for your coupon code!!

STUDENTS CAN ATTEND FOR FREE! Please fill out this brief application for the student coupon code for the Legends Series

Cancellation, Missed Webinar, and Grievance Policies | Accessibility

Event Information


When B. F. Skinner’s book Verbal Behavior was published in 1957 very few behaviorists showed interest in the work. Verbal Behavior went out of print after the first run of 3000 copies, and the rights were sold to another publisher, where once again it went out of print. Jack Michael understood Skinner’s writings better than most and was steadfast in his view that verbal behavior was an essential component of behavior analysis. He began teaching from early drafts of Verbal Behavior in 1955, and soon developed a full course that he offered almost every year during his 48-year teaching career. This repeated exposure to Verbal Behavior, along with his frequent conversations with Skinner, gave Jack opportunities and permission to refine aspects of the book. Over the years, Jack found it valuable to reorganize Skinner’s presentation of the material, modify or extend various concepts, and create new distinctions and classifications that Skinner had not considered. In this presentation, I will describe the rationale behind several of Jack’s refinements of Verbal Behavior including the duplic and codic relations, topography-based and stimulus-selection-based verbal behavior, automatic contingencies, convergent and divergent multiple control, and motivating operations.

Target Audience: Professionals for whom the topic is within their scope of practice. We welcome students and others who are also interested in the topic to join us.


At the conclusion of this event:

  • Participants will be able to identify the value of the distinction between topography-based and selection-based verbal behavior.
  • Participants will be able identify how the duplic and codic relations account for types of verbal behavior that Skinner did not consider in Verbal Behavior.


Mark Sundberg, Ph.D., BCBA-D received his doctorate degree in Applied Behavior Analysis from Western Michigan University (1980) under the direction of Dr. Jack Michael. He is the author of the VB-MAPP, and co-author of the original ABLLS and the book Teaching Language to Children with Autism or Other Developmental Disabilities. He has published over 50 professional papers and 6 book chapters. His latest publication is a book chapter titled “Verbal Behavior” in Applied Behavior Analysis (3rd ed.) by Cooper, Heron, & Heward (2020). Dr. Sundberg is the founder and past editor of the journal The Analysis of Verbal Behavior, a twice past-president of The Northern California Association for Behavior Analysis, a past-chair of the Publication Board of ABAI, an ABAI Fellow, and served two terms on the Board of Directors of the B. F. Skinner Foundation. Dr. Sundberg has given hundreds of conference presentations and workshops nationally and internationally, and taught 80 undergraduate and graduate courses on behavior analysis, verbal behavior, sign language, and child development. He is a licensed psychologist with over 45 years of experience. His awards include the 2001 “Distinguished Psychology Department Alumnus Award” from Western Michigan University, and the 2013 “Jack Michael Outstanding Contributions in Verbal Behavior Award” from ABAI’s Verbal Behavior Special Interest Group.


The presenter(s) and/or presenters’ family members do not have financial arrangement or affiliation with any of the products, organizations, or programs mentioned during this talk.


    • Behavior Analysts earn 1.5 CEUs (Learning): Live or recording
    • Not eligible for NBCC, AOTA, APA, or ASWB credit hours. You may download a certificate of attendance if your profession is not represented.

Additional Information

  • You must attend the entire event to receive credit.
  • Must submit all attendance codes and pass the post-test (see Expected Learning Outcomes).
    For ABAC's continuing education approvals statements please view our Continuing Education page.


After attending this event, attendees will select the correct answer on 80% of the questions within 3 attempts of the post-test that assesses the 2 learning objectives for this 1.5 hour event.


6:00 pm: Introduction
6:05 pm: Webinar begins
7:15 pm: Q&A session
7:30 pm: Evaluation, post-test and code submission forms

VB-SIG MEMBERS - You are entitled to members only price. Please check your email from the SIG for your coupon code!!

STUDENTS CAN ATTEND FOR FREE! Please fill out this brief application for the student coupon code for the Legends Series