Advertisement

The Behavior Analyst

, Volume 28, Issue 1, pp 15–28 | Cite as

The aesthetics of behavioral arrangements

  • Philip N. Hineline
Article

Abstract

With their origins in scientific validation, behavior-analytic applications have understandably been developed with an engineering rather than a crafting orientation. Nevertheless, traditions of craftsmanship can be instructive for devising aesthetically pleasing arrangements—arrangements that people will try, and having tried, will choose to continue living with. Pye (1968) provides suggestions for this, particularly through his distinctions between workmanship of risk versus workmanship of certainty, and the mating of functional precision with effective or otherwise pleasing variability. Close examination of woodworking tools as well as antique machines offers instructive analogues that show, for instance, that misplaced precision can be dysfunctional when precision is not essential to a design. Variability should be allowed or even encouraged. Thus, in the design of behavioral contingencies as well as of practical or purely aesthetic objects, ‘‘precise versus variable’’ is not necessarily a distinction between good and bad. More generally, behavior analysts would do well to look beyond their technical experience for ways to improve the aesthetics of contingency design while continuing to understand the resulting innovations in relation to behavior-analytic principles.

Key word

aesthetics acceptability of behavioral techniques precision variability workmanship 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Becker, W. C. (1992). Direct instruction: A twenty-year review. In R. P. West & L. A. Hamerlynck (Eds.), Designs for excellence in education (pp. 71–112). Longmont, CA: Sopris West.Google Scholar
  2. Boudreaux, R. (1989, January 31). Costa Rica project: It’s feed an iguana, save a tree. Los Angeles Times. Part 1, pp. 1, 10.Google Scholar
  3. Boyce, T. E., & Hineline, P. N. (2002). Interteaching: A strategy for enhancing the user-friendliness of behavioral arrangements in the college classroom. The Behavior Analyst, 25. 215–226.PubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  4. Branch, M. N., & Malagodi, E. F. (1980). Where have all the behaviorists gone? The Behavior Analyst, 3. 31–38.PubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  5. Carson, R. (1962). Silent spring. Boston: Houghton Mifflin.Google Scholar
  6. Catania, A. C. (1991). The gifts of culture and of eloquence: An open leter to Michael J. Mahoney in reply to his article, “Scientific psychology and radical behaviorism.” The Behavior Analyst, 14. 61–72.PubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  7. Deitz, S. M. (1986). Understanding cognitive language: The mental idioms in children’s talk. The Behavior Analyst, 9. 161–166.PubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  8. Engelmann, S. (1970). The effectiveness of direct instruction on IQ performance and achievement in reading and arithmetic. In J. Hellmuth (Ed.), Disadvantaged child (Vol. 3, pp. 339–361). New York: Brunner/Mazel.Google Scholar
  9. Engelmann, S., & Carnine, D. (1982). Theory of instruction: Principles and application. New York: Irvington Press.Google Scholar
  10. Ferster, C. B. (1967). Arbitrary and natural reinforcement. The Psychological Record, 17. 341–367.Google Scholar
  11. Gammage, J. (1997, March 23). Reading gets drilled into students. Philadelphia Inquirer. p. A3.Google Scholar
  12. Gleik, J. (1987). Chaos: Making a new science. New York: Penguin.Google Scholar
  13. Hineline, P. N. (1980). The language of behavior analysis: Its community, its function, and its limitations. Behaviorism, 8. 67–86.Google Scholar
  14. Hineline, P. N. (1984). Can a statement in cognitive terms be a behavior-analytic interpretation? The Behavior Analyst, 7. 97–100.PubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  15. Hineline, P. N. (1988). Magical misdirection in interpretive talk. The Current Repertoire, 4. 4–5.Google Scholar
  16. Hineline, P. N. (1990). The origins of environment-based psychological theory. Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior, 53. 305–320.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  17. Hineline, P. N. (1991). Introducing behavior analysts and behavior analysis. ABA Newsletter, 14(3), 7–8.Google Scholar
  18. Hineline, P. N. (1992). A self-interpretive behavior analysis. American Psychologist, 47. 1274–1286.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  19. Hineline, P. N. (2004). When we speak of intentions. In K. A. Lattal & P. N. Chase (Eds.), Behavior theory and philosophy (pp. 203–221). New York: Kluwer Academic/Plenum.Google Scholar
  20. Hineline, P. N. (in press). The several meanings of “positive.” Journal of Organizational Behavior Management.Google Scholar
  21. Hineline, P. N., & Wanchisen, B. A. (1989). Correlated hypothesizing, and the distinction between contingency-shaped and rule-governed behavior. In S. C. Hayes (Ed.), Rule-governed behavior: Cognition, contingencies, and instructional control (pp. 221–268). New York: Plenum.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Koegel, L. K., Koegel, R. L., & Dunlap, G. (Eds.). (1996). Positive behavioral support. Baltimore: Paul H. Brookes.Google Scholar
  23. Morris, E. K., Higgins, S. T., & Bickel, W. K. (1982). Comments on cognitive science in the experimental analysis of behavior. The Behavior Analyst, 5. 109–125.PubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  24. Neuringer, A. (2002). Operant variability: Evidence, functions, and theory. Psychonomic Bulletin and Review, 9. 672–705.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  25. Novak, G., & Pelaez-Nogueras, M. (2004). Child and adolescent development: A behavioral systems approach. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.Google Scholar
  26. Pye, D. (1968). The nature and art of workmanship. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press. (Revised edition, 1995, London: Herbert Press; Bethel, CT: Cambium Press)Google Scholar
  27. Raspberry, W. (1998, March 30). Sounds bad, but it works. Washington Post, p. A25.Google Scholar
  28. Schumacher, E. F. (1973). Small is beautiful: A study of economics as if people mattered. London: Blond & Briggs.Google Scholar
  29. Shimp, C. P. (1976). Organization in memory and behavior. Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior, 26. 113–130.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  30. Sidman, M. (1960). Tactics of scientific research. New York: Basic Books.Google Scholar
  31. Skinner, B. F. (1950). Are theories of learning necessary? Psychological Review, 57. 193–216.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  32. Skinner, B. F. (1965). Why teachers fail. Saturday Review, 48. 98–102.Google Scholar
  33. Traub, J. (2002, November 10). Does it work? New York Times. Section 4A, 24–25.Google Scholar
  34. Wiegand, D. M., & Geller, E. S. (in press). Connecting positive psychology and organizational behavior management: Achievement motivation and the power of positive reinforcement. Journal of Organizational Behavior Management.Google Scholar
  35. Wolf, M. M. (1978). Social validity: The case for subjective measurement or how applied behavior analysis is finding its heart. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 11. 203–214.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Association for Behavior Analysis International 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychologyTemple UniversityPhiladelphiaUSA

Personalised recommendations