Noam Chomsky, psychology homework help

Noam Chomsky who is the founder of modern linguists questioned the credibility of behaviorist on some specific issues. One of these issues was that Chomsky accused Skinner of “playing at science” in his ideas to language acquisition. Skinner said that language is like any other response and is under the control of reinforcement. Skinner, who was the most prominent behaviorist at the time, had written a book applying his ideas to language acquisition in humans (Bandura, 2001).The basis of Chomsky’s accusation was that Skinner had conducted no research that specifically studied language acquisition. According to Chomsky (1959), Skinner’s thesis is that external factors consisting of present stimulation and the history of reinforcement are of tremendous importance and that the principles used in the studies of these phenomena in the laboratory provide the basis for understanding the complexities of verbal behavior. Chomsky noted that while we might all agree that grain could be considered reinforcing to the hungry pigeon, it remained an untested assumption that parental reactions were the same sort of reinforcement to the young child. According to Bandura (2001), there is no circularity about this: some stimuli are found to produce the change, others not, and they are classified as reinforcing and nonreinforcing accordingly. Chomsky said that unless stimuli are characterized with what they are reinforcing, it is useless.

I agree with Chomsky’s critique on Skinner because Skinner’s claim that all verbal behavior is acquired and maintained in strength through reinforcement is an empty word because his notion of reinforcement has no explicit content wih maintenance of verbal behavior.

Please reply to the above question using 150-250 words. No references are needed unless you want to use them.

 
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