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.


41st Annual Convention; San Antonio, TX; 2015

Event Details

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Paper Session #185
Cognition: Private and Public
Sunday, May 24, 2015
11:00 AM–11:50 AM
007C (CC)
Area: TPC
Chair: Andres H. Garcia-Penagos (University of Tennessee)
Dichotomous Discourse and the Multiscaled View
Domain: Theory
KENNETH W. JACOBS (University of Nevada, Reno), Robert W. Isenhower (Douglass Developmental Disabilities Center, Rutgers University), Linda J. Parrott Hayes (University of Nevada, Reno)
Abstract: In this presentation we will address the notion of privacy. Specifically, privacy will be analyzed with respect to what behavior analysts describe as private stimuli or private stimulation. Based upon this evaluation, we propose that the private-public distinction stems from a dichotomous mode of speaking that obscures the seamless interaction of processes and events at various levels of analysis. As such, an alternative framework of speaking will be proposed such that a systematic investigation of all things private might ensue. By speaking in terms of scaled analyses, dichotomous locutions (e.g., the private/public distinction) will be superseded by a language of synchronous, complementary, concordant, and concurrent processes or events, for what behavior analysts are referring to with when speaking of private and public are two aspects of the same thing. This view, specifically the multiscaled view, will be exemplified via its shared affinities with field theoretic perspectives, dynamical systems theory, and the notion of nested processes in ecological psychology’s animal-environment system.

Dreams and Illusions: Sense and Nonscence in Behavioral Views of Privacy

Domain: Theory
ANDRES H. GARCIA-PENAGOS (University of Tennessee), John C. Malone (University of Tennessee)

Recent behavioral arguments denouncing the futility of the privacy debate have reasonably generated heated controversy vis--vis the "reality" of everyday experience. A more formal and sophisticated incarnation of this later argument has been presented many times in the history of thought suggesting that radical, naturalistic approaches to privacy cannot deal with phenomena such as hallucinations, dreams, phantom sensations and similar others. A good theory of (the futility of) privacy has to account for these seemingly anomalous phenomena. This paper will explore answers to these subtle and overt criticisms and challenges by drawing from different theoretical sources that include the works of authors like Dewey, Mead, Holt, Vygotsky, and J. J. Gibson, as well as those of recent authors in the tradition of embodied cognitive science and social psychologists like Bem, as complementary with the behavioral arguments of V. L. Lee, W. Baum, and H. Rachlin.

p(R): Volition, Agency, and the Five-Term Operant Contingency
Domain: Theory
SAM LEIGLAND (Gonzaga University)
Abstract: The complex and interrelated concepts of volition, agency, and free will have played a central role in Western-culture characterizations and explanations of mind and human behavior. The purpose of this paper is to (a) examine some of the central issues involved with the history and current usage of the concepts of volition and agency (and their possible relations to free will) in their traditional explanatory roles regarding human behavior, and (b) propose an interpretive functional analysis of the terms as they occur as properties of verbal behavior. Sources for the analysis will include some interpretive writings on the subject by B. F. Skinner, as well as recent and highly-relevant experimental research from the field of social cognition as well as behavior analysis. It will be concluded that (a) the occurrence of traditional terms such as voluntary/involuntary under the control of observed behavior are a function of the number and complexity of the variables that may be shown to be affecting the observed behavior, and (b) it may be time to expand Skinner's (1945) program for the "functional analysis of psychological terms" to also include central and culturally-important terms from traditional philosophical sources.



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