The Psychological Record

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

On The “Causes” Of Behavior

  • Jay Moore


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.


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Copyright information

© Association of Behavior Analysis International 1990

Authors and Affiliations

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

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