The terms molar and molecular analysis have been used for several decades in experimental psychology and have changed definition and usage during this time. For example, Skinner's operant conditioning was founded on a molecular behavior analysis in the 1930's. Yet, some contemporary models interpret operant behavior only at the molar level. The presentation will trace the history of the terms molar and molecular and articulate a need for inclusion of analyses at the level of individual response bouts, reinforcers, and stimuli in the 1-30 s range and define an analysis at this level as a molecular analysis. Illustrations will show how experimental manipulations can affect behavior at that level. Additional illustrations will demonstrate how behavior transitions during automated shaping relate to local reinforcing events. Besides, the presentation will outline novel ways on examining local dynamics of bouts of behavior that last a few seconds. The presentation will introduce the concept and method of ï¿½conditional data analysis,ï¿½ which emphasizes collecting and analyzing data conditional on local events antecedent to response emission. The overall emphasis of the tutorial will be empirical rather than theoretical. Molecular analyses have critical interpretative implications for well-established findings in existing literature.
Review Iver Iversen’s biographical statement.