May 13, 2015
Written by Maximus Peperkamp, M.S. Verbal Engineer
Once we have increased experience with the distinction between Sound Verbal Behavior (SVB) and Noxious Verbal Behavior (NVB) it will become apparent that focus on current contingencies is more effective than our familiar efforts to figure out and piece together the previous contingencies of which our current behavior might be a function. When speakers focus on their sound while they speak this emphasizes the moment in which their sound is produced and listened to. Speaking and listening behaviors mutually enhance each other when they happen at the same rate and intensity level. This is the case in SVB, but in NVB there is either a higher rate of speaking or a higher rate of listening. A higher rate of speaking occurs as a function of a lower rate of listening. Conversely, a higher rate of listening is a function of a lower rate of speaking. In the latter, this causes conflicts in a person’s private speech, but in the former the conflicts will occur mostly in the person’s public speech.
Whatever the assumptions about our interactions with others may be, these assumptions are much easier to be dissolved on our own than while being engaged in a conversation with others. The reason for this is that we listen differently to ourselves then to others. However, we would like others to listen to ourselves in the same way that we listen to ourselves. Those who listen more to themselves than others, want others to listen to them in a manner that they may not even be capable of. On the other hand, those who hardly listen to themselves at all want others to listen to them in a similar superficial way. They dislike it when others listen to them in a more thorough manner then they are capable of. It is easy for us to see on our own why we go overboard with too much talking or too much listening; when others are absent it is easier to synchronize and join our speaking and listening behaviors, so that we can experience and explore SVB undisturbed and become less concerned with fulfilling the expectations of others. If alone we find we produce a lot of NVB, we tend to feel strange about producing SVB, but if we produce mostly SVB, we feel awkward about producing NVB. However, the new distinction between SVB and NVB makes these positive and negative phenomena acceptable.
Once we know more about the distinction between SVB and NVB and have a sense of the proportion of SVB and NVB experiences in our lives, we usually find we have more NVB than SVB experiences. I have never met anyone who with more SVB experiences than NVB experiences. The astounding fact that this ratio is so skewed towards NVB indicates that we interpret our experiences in the light of the behavior which has most momentum: NVB. Because of conditioning we feel responsible for causing our own behavior, although in fact a chain of functionally related events resulted in this anxious, but fictitious, internal behavioral manager. Reinterpretation of our lives in the light of SVB is a comforting experience. It takes time and happens in a step by step fashion.
It is often said in NVB, that it is easy to see the ‘fault’ in others and not in ourselves. In SVB it becomes clear that it is only necessary for us to see the ‘fault’ in ourselves. Moreover, our so-called ‘fault’ turns out to be a fiction that was maintained by NVB. Those who experimented with SVB find that they are okay the way they are. SVB is a way of talking which reinforces the well-being of the speaker and the listener. Superstitious beliefs in a self is a function of NVB, which is based on negative emotions. Being strategic, refers to a non-existing inner behavior-manager. Anything predetermined, being political, but also being consistent or standing by our words implies NVB.
This is the most difficult thing to understand is that SVB cannot be understood, but it must be experienced: SVB is a new way of speaking. The chain of functionally related events giving momentum to SVB creates a different order than the chain of functionally related events resulting in the perpetuation of NVB. Once we refer to the distinction between SVB and NVB, it is impossible to maintain our long-standing belief in an inner behavior-causing self, let alone in a higher power. Because they speak NVB, most scientists still don’t see anything wrong with having science and religion as an explanatory system. This changes once SVB is experienced. With SVB it is clear we can’t have it both ways, religion and science are incompatible. We either have SVB or we have NVB, that is, we are either really talking about the natural world or we are coercing and dominating each other, although we may use science, religion, politics, education and parenting as our excuse.
Scientist must continue to be taught about physics, biology and chemistry etc., but they must also be taught about SVB, as NVB makes them biased. As long as they are incapable of talking about their topic in a SVB fashion, they have an inner agent-agenda, which contradicts the natural philosophy of science. The change in verbal behavior, which occurs as they learn about SVB, is a matter of proper scientific contingency-management. Scientists should be the first ones to learn about SVB, as it is unacceptable that one moment verbal behavior is under control of natural contingencies, while next moment they cater to non-existent inner agents or supernatural entities.
As stated, SVB is a new way of speaking. The content of a lecture can be the same and yet the lecture can still be new. The newness of what we say does not depend on the words we use, but on how we sound. In NVB, we sound the same, which is another way of saying that we are not really alive, but in SVB, our voice is alive and what we say is enhanced by how we say it. However, this happens without any effort, naturally, because the speaker in SVB is totally at ease with him or herself. The negative emotion that is always involved in NVB creates a tone of voice which distracts from what is being said, because it elicits in the listener counter control in the form of negative private speech.
Quality control of scientific practice should begin to focus on how scientists talk. Only in SVB can the natural philosophy of science be embraced and be properly continued, but in NVB scientific practice goes out the door. The most important independent variable which is functionally related to the outcome of our interactions is how we sound while we speak. Control over this specific variable is necessary to be able to discuss functional relations. When there is no attention for how we sound while we speak, when the speaker is not, or at least, imagines he or she is not, his or her own listener, then such a speaker will have private speech which is caused by NVB public speech. When the speaker and the listener are not experienced as one, by the scientist him or herself, his or her verbal repertoire is not controlled by the natural philosophy of science. Moreover, NVB impairs our ability to think, because it drives a wedge between public speech and private speech, which in turn maintains the false notion of an inner self, which then seems to be causing our behavior.