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GREENSPOON EFFECT. The American psychologist Joel Greenspoon (1921- ) conducted studies indicating that verbal awareness of the learning situation or of the new responses in not a necessity for behavior to be altered. In the experimental condition showing the Greenspoon effect, participants were asked to say all the words they could think of in 50 minutes. The experimenter sat behind the individuals and uttered "mmm-hmm" (an assenting murmur) every time a plural noun was spoken. With other participants, the experimenter murmured "huh-uh" (dissenting) when plural nouns were spoken. Upon debriefing, most of the individuals were unable to see any connection between the behavior of the experimenter and the words they were saying. Nevertheless, "mmm-hmm" increased the number of plural nouns that were said, and "huh-uh" decreased the number of emitted plural nouns. The Greenspoon effect has been taken by some psychologists, particularly behaviorists, as evidence that language can be brought under operant control and, by extension, as evidence that language learning takes place through a process of social reinforcement. The verbal conditioning paradigm in the Greenspoon effect seems to provide a valuable tool and method for bridging the gap between the clinical psychologist and the general-experimental psychologist. However, it may be suggested that more basic research in verbal conditioning needs to be conducted. See also CHOMSKY'S PSYCHOLINGUISTIC THEORY; SKINNER'S DESCRIPTIVE BE-HAVIOR/OPERANT CONDITIONING THEORY. REFERENCES

Greenspoon, J. (1955). The reinforcing effect of two spoken sounds on the frequency of two responses. American Journal of Psychology, 68, 409-416. Krasner, L. (1958). Studies of the conditioning of verbal behavior. Psychological Bulletin, 15, 148-171. Salzinger, K. (1959). Experimental manipulation of verbal behavior: A review. Journal of Genetic Psychology, 61, 65-95.

Spielberger, C., & DeNike, L. (1962). Operant conditioning of plural nouns: A failure to replicate the Greenspoon effect. Psychological Reports, 11, 355-366.

Greenspoon, J. (1963). Reply to Spielberger and DeNike: Operant conditioning of plural nouns: A failure to replicate the Greenspoon effect. Psychological Reports, 12, 29-30, 103-106.

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