Skip to main content

Behaviorism and Society


A probable list of causes for the limited acceptance of behaviorism in our society is identified. This is followed by a summary review of the proposed solutions identified in other papers in this special issue of The Behavior Analyst, most of which relate to either better marketing of either the behavior analytic process or the results achieved as a consequence. One paper proposes a more broad conception of behavior analysis. This paper endorses the solutions identified in previous papers and then goes on to propose an even more broad conception of behavior analysis and makes the point that behavior analysis is unlikely to flourish unless behavior analysts understand a good deal more about the cultural and other contextual features of the environments in which they work.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.


  • Biglan, A. (2015). The need for a more effective science of cultural practices. The Behavior Analyst.

  • Einstein, A., & Infeld, L. (1938). The evolution of physics. New York: Simon and Schuster.

    Google Scholar 

  • Freedman, D. (2015). Improving public perception of behavior analysis. The Behavior Analyst.

  • Hyten, C. (2009). Strengthening the focus on business results: the need for systems approaches in organizational behavior management. Journal of Organizational Behavior Management, 29, 87–106.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Krapfl, J. E., & Kruja, B. (2015). Leadership and culture. Journal of Organizational Behavior Management, 35, 28–43.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Malott, M. (2015). What studying leadership can teach us about the science of behavior. The Behavior Analyst.

  • Mattaini, M., & Aspholm, R. (2015). Contributions of behavioral systems science to leadership for a new progressive movement. The Behavior Analyst.

  • Russel, B. (1927). An outline of philosophy. New York: W.W. Norton.

    Google Scholar 

  • Skinner, B. F. (1938). The behavior of organisms. New York: Appleton Century Crofts.

    Google Scholar 

  • Skinner, B. F. (1974). About behaviorism. New York: Alfred A Knopf.

    Google Scholar 

  • Smith, J. (2015). Strategies to position behavior analysis as the contemporary science of what works. The Behavior Analyst.

  • Whitehead, A. N. (2010). Process and reality (4th ed.). New York: Simon & Schuster.

    Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Corresponding author

Correspondence to Jon E. Krapfl.

Additional information

Jon Krapfl is now retired.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Krapfl, J.E. Behaviorism and Society. BEHAV ANALYST 39, 123–129 (2016).

Download citation

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI:


  • Linear causation
  • Circular causation
  • Marketing attributes
  • Marketing benefits
  • Cultural contingencies
  • Organizational functions
  • Organizational costs/benefits
  • Theory based practice