This book presents the Proceedings of the Second Conference on Verbal Learning and Verbal Behavior, sponsored by the U.S. Office of Naval Research and New York University. The conference was held in June, 1961, at the Frank Jay Gould House, Ardsley-on-Hudson, New York. In the paragraphs which follow, I wish to report how this second conference was organized, how it proceeded in its discussions, what these proceedings represent, and to make grateful acknowledgement to those who made the conference possible.
In April, 1960, Denzel D. Smith, then of the U.S. Office of Naval Research, and Glenn L. Bryan, of that office, suggested to me that I set up a second conference along the lines of the first one which had been held in 1959. Both Dr. Smith and Dr. Bryan felt that the first conference had been valuable in providing for an interchange among students of verbal learning and verbal behavior and that a second meeting, following closely on the first, would capitalize on the gains made in the first conference. While new topics, it was recognized, should be used in the new conference, the participants should remain much the same. I agreed to organize a second conference and proceeded to write to the participants of the first one, asking about their willingness to participate again, soliciting topics to be discussed, and obtaining nominations of individuals (both past conferees and new people) for specific assignments. Of the 14 participants in the first conference, 11 agreed to participate again. W. A. Bousfield, C. E. Osgood, and D. D. Smith withdrew because of prior commitments and similar reasons.
A large number of topics and names were submitted by the group, but in two or three exchanges of correspondence agreement was reached on topics and participants. I then invited the new participants to join with us. Again, because of prior commitments, three people declined, but the final roster of nineteen participants was soon established and topics were assigned.
The conference procedure was the same as the one used before. Eight papers were prepared and distributed ahead of time. One conference session was devoted to each paper. The session for a paper was led by the discussant of the paper. Typically, he made some comments about