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.


46th Annual Convention; Washington DC; 2020

Event Details

Previous Page


Paper Session #271
What's So Interbehavioral About Organismic Biology?
Sunday, May 24, 2020
12:00 PM–12:20 PM
Marriott Marquis, Level M1, Georgetown
Area: PCH
Instruction Level: Basic
Chair: Bryan D. Midgley (McPherson College)
What's So Interbehavioral About Organismic Biology?
Domain: Theory
BRYAN D. MIDGLEY (McPherson College), Edward K. Morris (University of Kansas)
Abstract: In the 1980s, behavior analysts were introduced to Stephen Pepper’s (1942) world hypotheses. Scholars such as Reese and Overton used the world hypotheses as a taxonomy to classify psychological systems, with cognitive psychology an exemplar of organicism and behavioral psychology an exemplar of mechanism. Other scholars argued that modern behavioral psychology – behavior analysis – is better represented as contextualism. Our purpose is to consider a classification not discussed in the 1980s – organicism and J. R. Kantor’s interbehavioral psychology. This seemingly incongruous relation is consistent with Kantor’s writings. In his earliest papers, Kantor identified his psychology as organismic. To our knowledge, though, Kantor did not explicitly say from where he derived the descriptor organismic – from its use in psychology, biology, or elsewhere. However, Kantor saw the relevance of organismic biology for his organismic psychology, which suggests why he used the term. Accordingly, in this presentation, we explore the relation between the organismic biology of Kantor’s day and organismic (interbehavioral) psychology, focusing on similarities between the two and the relevance of one for the other.



Back to Top
Modifed by Eddie Soh