The Psychological Record

, Volume 40, Issue 1, pp 41–49 | Cite as

Rule-Governed Behavior: A Radical Behavioral Answer To the Cognitive Challenge

  • Robert D. Zettle


A radical behavioral interpretation of the role thinking may play in controlling other human behavior is presented, using rulegoverned behavior as a key explanatory concept. An overview of rule-governed behavior is provided with emphasis on the formulation and following of self-rules. Opposing world views endorsed by radical behaviorism and cognitive psychology are discussed in contrasting the explanations each offers for cognitive phenomena. Differing philosophical foundations and associated truth criteria are viewed as precluding any direct comparison of the adequacy of behavior analytic and cognitive interpretations of cognitive control and related phenomena.


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Copyright information

© Association of Behavior Analysis International 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • Robert D. Zettle
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyWichita State UniversityWichitaUSA

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