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 #14
Examining Corruption
Saturday, May 25, 2019
10:00 AM–10:20 AM
Fairmont, Lobby Level, Cuvee
Area: CSS
Instruction Level: Basic
Chair: Tete Kobla Agbota (Oslo and Akershus University of Applied Sciences)

Examining Corruption as Behavioural and Cultural Phenomena With Behaviour Analytic Concepts

Domain: Theory
TETE KOBLA AGBOTA (Oslo Metropolitan University), Ingunn Sandaker (Oslo Metropolitan University), Knut Boge (Oslo Metropolitan University)

Regardless of the enormous body of literature on corruption, some social scientists claim it lacks contingency analysis. The concept of contingency as used by behaviour analysts is the fulcrum of behavioural analysis. However, the skimming of available research reveals scarcity of behaviour analytic works on corruption. In this paper, we examine the behavioural processes accompanying corrupt practices during a public officer-citizen interface and the persistence of petty corruption in Ghana from a behaviour analytic perspective. Using three studies, the authors demonstrate how some conceptual tools of behaviour analysis can improve our understanding of corruption as behavioural and cultural phenomena. The explanatory models employed are advanced as alternatives to theories that attribute corruption to personality traits. Corruption characterised by non-linear behaviours, with complex sets of concurrent contingencies taking place in complex social environments, is examined with the technical construct metacontingency. Such an analysis enhances the principal-agent theory, which social scientists employ to examine corruption as social episodes. The construct of macrocontingency is posited as an alternative to the barrel of rotten apple theory. The authors call for basic behaviour research to help understand corruption, which is one of the critical social issues of the twenty-first century.




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