Human Behavior in Today's World

By Waris Ishaq | Go to book overview

23
Wrap-Up: Behavior Analysis Is Doing Good Well

T. A. Brigham

In the late 1970s, B. F. Skinner presented a paper at the annual meeting of the Association for Behavior Analysis titled "We Few, We Happy Few, but Why So Few?" The first part of the title is, of course, from Shakespeare's Henry V, but the interrogative is Skinner's. Both components of the title are worthy of consideration. In Shakespeare's play, Henry is addressing his loyal troops before the battle of Agincourt, which was won by the English. Similarly, Skinner was speaking to a group generally committed to the concepts and principles of radical behaviorism. The second part of the title leaves little doubt that, from Skinner's perspective, we were in a war for the theoretical leadership of psychology. There is a question, however, whether the analogy to Henry's successful call to battle at Agincourt is a good model for us, for although that battle was won in the long run -- (this was the Hundred Years' War, after all) -- the French drove the English from the European mainland.

Nonetheless, an examination of the conditions in psychology that gave rise to Skinner's concern is appropriate. After many years when psychology was seen to be behavioral, the cognitive revolution was fully under way. Developments in computer science had stimulated rapid growth in theory and research on artificial intelligence (AI). Proponents of the "strong AI" position argued that it was possible to model human cognitive processes with computer programs, test those programs against observed human behavior, refine the programs, and repeat the procedure as many times as necessary until eventually a computer system would be created that could mimic human intellectual performance.

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Human Behavior in Today's World
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Preface xi
  • Acknowledgments xiii
  • Introduction: Behavior Analysis in a Sociopolitical Context 1
  • References 15
  • Part I - The World is Falling Apart 17
  • 1 - Why We Are Not Acting to Save the World 19
  • 2 - The Sky is Falling 31
  • References 37
  • 3 - Behavior Analysis and Global Survival 39
  • References 49
  • 4 - Beware of Coercion 51
  • References 69
  • Part II - The Science of Behavior Change 71
  • 5 - The Source and Control of Behavior 73
  • References 85
  • 6 - Free Operant Behavior Research Methods 87
  • References 96
  • 7 - Verbal Behavior: A Four-Term Contingency Relation 99
  • References 108
  • 8 - Stimulus Equivalence: Implications for Teaching 109
  • References 119
  • 9 - Everyday Stimulus Equivalences for the Brain-Injured 123
  • References 131
  • 10 - Schedules of Reinforcement 133
  • References 138
  • 11 - Behaviorology: Its Paradigm 139
  • References 147
  • Part III - Education: Problems and Solutions 149
  • 12 - Contingencies in Day Care Licensing Standards 151
  • References 161
  • 13 - A Rational Technology of Education 163
  • References 170
  • 14 - Positive Reinforcement in Education 171
  • 15 - Behavior Analysis With the Mildly Handicapped 175
  • References 183
  • Part IV - Stimulus Control In Etiology and Treatment 189
  • 16 - Stimulus Control: Principles and Procedures 191
  • 17 - Applocation: Substance Abuse and Dependency 205
  • References 214
  • 18 - Application: Smoking 217
  • References 227
  • Part V - Applications In the Practice of Psychology 231
  • 19 - Clinical Behavior Analysis 233
  • References 244
  • Part VI - Culture and Behavior 247
  • 20 - Walden Two in Real Life: Behavior Analysis in the Design of a Culture 249
  • References 255
  • 21 - Behavior Analysis Across Cultures 257
  • References 277
  • Part VII - In the World of Work 279
  • 22 - Behavior Analysis in Organizations 281
  • References 290
  • Part VIII - Epilogue 293
  • 23 - Wrap-Up: Behavior Analysis is Doing Good Well 295
  • Index 301
  • About the Editor and Contributors 309
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