Date of Award
Bachelor of Science
Department Chair or Program Director
Major or Concentration
The central aspect of any physician-patient interaction is the medical interview. While many studies have investigated these interactions, few have acknowledged the role played by the histories of both patient and physician. The three-term contingency (i.e., antecedent-behavior-consequences; Skinner, 1953) establishes the functional relations between critical events, and is central to the investigation of both verbal and nonverbal behavior. Verbal behavior comprises those actions reinforced through the mediation of others in one’s verbal community. This paper suggests that an analysis of behavior pertaining to the role of verbal behavior in patient-physician interactions more precisely describes relationships between the medical interview and health outcomes. It may also suggest barriers preventing effective patient-physician interactions including the use of medical jargon, the multiple causation of behavior, and the lack of consensus regarding measures for evaluating interactions. This analysis may provide means for effective training of physicians to eliminate health disparities and the poor health outcomes that result from differences between the verbal communities of the patient and the physician.
Keywords: Contingency, verbal behavior, verbal community, health disparities, medical jargon, multiple causation
Checkeye, Hannah, "The Role of Verbal Behavior in Patient-Provider Interactions" (2021). Student Research Submissions. 404.