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Operant and Attributional Theories

  • Edward L. Deci
  • Richard M. Ryan
Chapter
Part of the Perspectives in Social Psychology book series (PSPS)

Abstract

Early in this century, American psychology rallied around the study of overt behavior, as had been suggested by Thorndike (1913) and Watson (1913). This perspective, which had its roots in the philosophy of logical positivism, demanded the use of operational definitions that were specified in terms of overt, observable behaviors. The most influential spokesperson for this position was undoubtedly Skinner (e.g., 1938), who proposed and elaborated an operant theory of behavior. Although the perspective is no longer as central to empirical psychology as it once was, there are still a number of psychologists who subscribe to a relatively orthodox operant perspective, and the field of applied behavior modification is firmly rooted in operant theory.

Keywords

Intrinsic Motivation Attribution Theory Environmental Force Extrinsic Reward Autonomy Orientation 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1985

Authors and Affiliations

  • Edward L. Deci
    • 1
  • Richard M. Ryan
    • 1
  1. 1.University of RochesterRochesterUSA

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