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Behavior analysis and psychological concepts: reply to Oliveira-Castro

Foxall, Gordon R. ORCID: 2021. Behavior analysis and psychological concepts: reply to Oliveira-Castro. Carrara, Kester and Zilio, Diego, eds. Contemporary Behaviorisms in Debate, Springer Nature Switzerland AG, pp. 211-235. (10.1007/978-3-030-77395-3_15)

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Response to Jorge M. Oliveira-Castro’s comments: “Behavior Analysis and Psychological Concepts: Commentary on Foxall’s Intentional Behaviorism. Intentional Behaviorism addresses an issue that should be familiar to all behavior analysts whose work extends beyond the laboratory, namely the validity of the interpretation of behavior when an experimental analysis is infeasible. The essence of functional analysis is the prediction and control of behavior in the relatively closed settings of the operant chamber, as well as in situations such as field experiments where the requirements of environmental control can be relatively unambiguously observed. But operant analysis is not confined to such settings. As Skinner points out, notably in his analysis of verbal behavior, the principles of behavior established in these “favorable” contexts can provide “plausible” interpretations of behaviors that cannot be studied so rigorously because they lie beyond an experimental analysis (Skinner, 1957, p. 13; see also Skinner, 1969, p. 100; Skinner, 1984, p. 207). He points out that, just as natural sciences like astronomy and the study of species’ phylogenetic histories are not directly amenable to experimentation and yet make use of scientific principles garnered elsewhere, so behavior can be understood by reference to the contingencies of reinforcement and punishment even when experimental control of the subject matter is not feasible. Intentional Behaviorism proposes a methodology for this process which Jorge Oliveira-Castro has critiqued in his chapter. The purpose of this chapter is to respond to his comments and demonstrate the viability of intentional-behaviorist interpretation.

Item Type: Book Section
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Business (Including Economics)
Publisher: Springer Nature Switzerland AG
ISBN: 9783030773946
Last Modified: 09 Nov 2022 11:08

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