REFERENCING AND RELATING BEHAVIOR
We set out to educate students, to teach them skills that increase their chances of surviving and having happy lives. To be successful, our talk about behavior must be technical; talk that is technical supports the rest of our technologies. If we are to evolve adaptive human behavior as successfully as engineers build bridges or physicians repair bodies, our talk about human behavior also has to be technical.
Mastering this language is challenging because it requires a change in the way we talk about and view human behavior. Once learned, this language facilitates the building of curriculum, the design of instruction, the observation of behavior, the implementation of teaching procedures, and the solving of recurrent instructional problems.
This chapter continues the technical language begun in Chapter 1. It provides a way to talk about the elements of behavior and their relationships. Chapter 12 presents the language required to talk about the evolution of behavior.
The first step in talking unambiguously about behavior is to clearly reference, or classify, what we see. This section examines how we reference behavior and how to insure that the referencing is accurate and rigorous.
We refer to, or talk about behavior in two ways: First, we talk about single occurrences of a behavior by an individual or group. These single