While a great deal of behavior analytic research has focussed on studying current contingencies, the amount of work done in the area of conditioning history is spotty, at best. Weiner (1964, 1969) conducted history research with human subjects, but little has followed in either the human or the nonhuman literature. Some direction can also be found in the literature studying the effects of conditioning on drug effects (e.g., Barrett, 1977; Urbain, Poling, Millam, & Thompson, 1978). However, “behavioral history” or “conditioning history” has not been a fully-developed area within behavior analysis. It is suggested that empirical work on history effects might have implications for (a) better understanding human-nonhuman behavioral differences and similarities, (b) clinical applications, especially where clients are resistant to behavioral change, and (c) theoretical assumptions in behavior analysis in relation to both basic and applied concerns.
Key wordsconditioning history behavioral persistence reinforcement schedules continuity theory behavior analytic theory human-nonhuman differences clinical applications behavioral variability
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