Mand (psychology)

Mand is a term that B.F. Skinner used to describe a verbal operant in which the response is reinforced by a characteristic consequence and is therefore under the functional control of relevant conditions of deprivation or aversive stimulation. A mand is sometimes said to "specify its reinforcement" although this is not always the case Skinner introduced the Mand as one of six primary verbal operants in his 1957 work Verbal Behavior Chapter Three of Skinner's work Verbal Behavior discusses a functional relationship called the mand. A mand is a form of verbal behavior that is controlled by deprivation, satiation, or what is now called motivating operations (MO) as well as a controlling history. An example of this would be asking for water when one is water deprived ("thirsty"). It is tempting to say that a mand 'describes its reinforcer' which it sometimes does, but mands may have no correspondence to the reinforcer, for example a loud knock may be a mand "open the door" and a servant may be called by a hand clap as much as a child might "ask for milk". The Lamarre & Holland (1985) study on mands would be one example of a research study in this area.

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