BASIC CONCEPTS AND METHODS
P art One is mainly designed to describe the basic conceptual and methodological orientation that permeates the rest of the book. As mentioned in the Introduction the behavioral conceptual scheme emphasizes that legal policies are responses to prior stimuli and that they are also stimuli to subsequent responses. This is contrasted with a more legalistic approach, which views legal policies or adjudications as doctrines or judicial votes to be analyzed in themselves, irrespective of their external causes or effects.
The language of the conceptual scheme used here is that of stimulus -- response psychology, although it could be input -- output systems analysis, in which input is substituted for stimuli, output is substituted for responses, and conversion structure is substituted for organism. However, there are several advantages to using the stimulus -- response terminology. First, the terminology emphasizes that we are basically dealing with human beings who are performing in the roles of policy makers (e.g., judges or legislators), policy appliers (policemen or school superintendents), or policy recipients (contract makers or automobile drivers) rather than with institutions (courts or legislatures), countries, or other abstractions. Second, a body of empirically tested principles already exists to describe