The Psychological Record

, Volume 40, Issue 4, pp 469–480 | Cite as

On The “Causes” Of Behavior

  • Jay Moore
Article

Abstract

To speak of the “causes” of behavior is to speak of the contribution of factors in the environment and factors intrinsic to the organism to behavioral events. Among the environmental factors are eliciting operations and contingencies. Despite a pragmatic emphasis on such environmental factors, behaviorism does not ignore a contribution from the organism itself. Organisms have presumably been selected over the lifetime of the species, such that their physiological structure accommodates the requisite responsiveness to environmental stimulation. Knowledge of how that physiology stands at the moment of behavior facilitates prediction and control of behavior. A potential problem is that the technical vocabulary of behaviorism does not always use parallel terms to describe the causal relations inherent in operant and respondent behavior.

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. CATANIA, A. C. (1984). Learning (2nd ed.). Englewood Cliffs: Prentice-Hall.Google Scholar
  2. CATANIA, A. C, & HARNAD, S. (Eds.). (1988). The selection of behavior. The operant behaviorism of B. F. Skinner: Comments and Consequences. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  3. FARRIS, H. E. (1967). Classical conditioning of courting behavior in the Japanese quail, coturnix coturnix japonica. Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior, 10, 213–217.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  4. HIGGINS, S. T., & MORRIS, E. K. (1985). A comment on contemporary definitions of reinforcement as a behavioral process. The Psychological Record, 35, 81–88.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. HINELINE, P. N. (1980). The language of behavior analysis: Its community, its functions, and its limitations. Behaviorism, 8, 67–86.Google Scholar
  6. KANTOR, J. R. (1950). Psychology and logic (Vol II). Chicago: Principia Press.Google Scholar
  7. KIMBLE, G. (1961). Hilgard and Marquis’ conditioning and learning. New York: Appleton-Century-Crofts.Google Scholar
  8. LYON, D. O., & OZOLINS, D. (1970). Pavlovian conditioning of shock-elicited aggression: A discrimination procedure. Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior, 13, 325–331.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  9. MICHAEL, J. (1982). Distinguishing between discriminative and motivational functions of stimuli. Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior, 37, 149–155.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  10. MOORE, J. (1980). On behaviorism and private events. The Psychological Record, 30, 459–475.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. MOORE, J. (1984). On behaviorism, knowledge, and causal explanation. The Psychological Record, 34, 73–97.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. MOORE, J. (1987). The roots of the family tree: A review of four books on the history and nature of behaviorism. The Psychological Record, 37, 449–470.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. MOORE, J. (1990). On mentalism, privacy, and behaviorism. Journal of Mind and Behavior, 11, 19–36.Google Scholar
  14. PANIAGUA, F. (1985). The relational definition of reinforcement: Comments on circularity. The Psychological Record, 35, 193–202.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. SCHNAITTER, R. (1978a). Circularity, trans-situationality, and the law of effect. The Psychological Record, 28, 353–362.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. SCHNAITTER, R. (1978b). Private causes. Behaviorism, 6, 1–12.Google Scholar
  17. SKINNER, B. F. (1938). The behavior of organisms. New York: Appleton-Century-Crofts.Google Scholar
  18. SKINNER, B. F. (1953). Science and human behavior. New York: MacMillan.Google Scholar
  19. SKINNER, B. F. (1957). Verbal behavior. New York: Appleton-Century-Crofts.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. SKINNER, B. F. (1969). Contingencies of reinforcement. New York: Appleton-Century-Crofts.Google Scholar
  21. SKINNER, B. F. (1972). Cumulative record. New York: Appleton-Century-Crofts.Google Scholar
  22. SKINNER, B. F. (1974). About behaviorism. New York: Knopf.Google Scholar
  23. WALLACE, W. A. (1972). Causality and scientific explanation (Vol 1). Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press.Google Scholar
  24. WANN, T. W. (Ed.). (1964). Behaviorism and phenomenology. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  25. ZURIFF, G. E. (1979). Ten inner causes. Behaviorism, 7, 1–8.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Association of Behavior Analysis International 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jay Moore
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversity of Wisconsin-MilwaukeeMilwaukeeUSA

Personalised recommendations