Extended Behavior-Context Relations: a Molar View of Functional Analytic Psychotherapy

Abstract

This paper seeks to reinterpret current tenets of functional analytic psychotherapy (FAP) using some assumptions of molar behaviorism. In it, a conceptual alternative to the molecular approach is proposed to explain the mechanisms of change of FAP. To achieve this goal, the utility and limitations of using discrete responses and stimuli as units of analysis are discussed. As an alternative, this paper suggests, as proposed by molar behaviorism, using activities as the unit of analysis. The use of activities as the unit of analysis would allow analyses of clinical behavior as choices in different time scales and measurements of clinical behavior using time allocation. Using choice behavior to analyze data allows analyses of behavior in terms of its short-term and long-term value. It is argued that time allocation as a unit of measure is more appropriate than the rate of behavior because it allows the continuous measurement of behavior and comparisons of disparate behaviors as they occur during therapy sessions. Finally, a multi-scale analysis would allow the articulation of long-term and short-term contingencies that are related to therapy and behavioral change.

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Notes

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    Currently, a more usual way of measure choice is by using the general matching law equation (see Davison & Baum, 2000). However, because zero choices of one kind of CRB may be observed in some therapy sessions, using this strategy would be inconvenient.

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Acknowledgements

The author thanks Tatiana Plata-Caviedes, Diana Cortés, Paulo Dillon, and Camilo Hurtado-Parrado for their helpful comments on an early version of this paper

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Correspondence to Oscar Córdoba-Salgado.

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Córdoba-Salgado, O. Extended Behavior-Context Relations: a Molar View of Functional Analytic Psychotherapy. BEHAV ANALYST 40, 257–273 (2017). https://doi.org/10.1007/s40614-017-0090-0

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Keywords

  • Molar behaviorism
  • Functional analytic psychotherapy
  • Time allocation
  • Multi-scale view