Association for Behavior Analysis International

The Association for Behavior Analysis International® (ABAI) is a nonprofit membership organization with the mission to contribute to the well-being of society by developing, enhancing, and supporting the growth and vitality of the science of behavior analysis through research, education, and practice.


45th Annual Convention; Chicago, IL; 2019

Event Details

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Paper Session #65
Behavioral Interpretations of Creativity
Saturday, May 25, 2019
12:00 PM–12:50 PM
Swissôtel, Lucerne Ballroom Level, Lucerne 1/2
Area: PCH
Instruction Level: Intermediate
Chair: Edward Amezquita (University of North Texas)
Micro and Macro Variables Responsible for Creativity and Innovation Development: A Three Level Behavioral Theory Draft
Domain: Theory
ANDRE A. BRAVIN (Universidade Federal de Goias at Jatai), Hernando Borges Neves Filho (Universidade de São Paulo)
Abstract: This paper presents some updates in a micro and macro theory of human creativity and innovation, based on behavioral principles. Micro variables are all behavioral processes responsible for the origin of an individuals new behavior, such as stimuli generalization, response induction, shaping, contingency aduction, interconnection of repertoires, behavioral variability, among others. Macro variables are contingencies and relationships that no longer deal with individual behavior solely, but individuals in groups (e.g., social rules and institutional variables), treated here as group performance, team problem solving, team design and development, law, and others. Based on this two distinct groups of variables, we drafted an operant theory about creativity and innovation determinants, and how it could be increased or decreased in groups and institutions. All theoretical discussion on creativity are based in a traditional distinction that highlights two kinds of creative products: p-criativity (ontogenetic, individual) and h-creativity (cultural, historical, with social outcomes for a group or culture). The operant approach of these variables, formulated in a creativity theory extended to the field of technological innovation, aims to be a tool either to comprehend and estimulate individual creativity, and also a way to understand how creative products (inventions and innovations) are accepted and spreaded (or not) in a cultural group. Possible applications in groups, organizations and institutions are given as examples of some practical problems that this operant approach could help.

Creativity: Beyond the Mind, Behind the Curtain

Domain: Theory
EDWARD BRANDON AMEZQUITA (University of North Texas), T. V. Joe Layng (Generategy, LLC)

Creativity is a beautiful, some believe unexplainable phenomenon: from the song that makes use cry, to the movie that makes us excited, to the painting that makes us ponder, and to the comedian that makes us laugh. Mentalistic and innate accounts of creativity often suggest it is a something one possesses or expresses. What makes this account appealing is that creativity does not describe behavior, instead it describes an outcome of behavior. It describes a unique solution or an effect on an audience; the behaviors which produce that effect are how creativity is expressed. An alternative approach is offered here that examines some of the behavior-environmental relations that may account for those behavioral outcomes considered creative. What is occurring during the creative process that reinforces the artist’s behavior during the act of creating? This presentation will begin to answer this question by drawing upon the work and training of improvisational comedians who have developed methods and conceptual principles that allow anyone to perform on stage to “create” a scene, even with no prior history. Contingency adduction, successive approximations, extended tacts will be shown to be fundamental components of at least some “creative acts.”




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