Association for Behavior Analysis International

The Association for Behavior Analysis International® (ABAI) is a nonprofit membership organization with the mission to contribute to the well-being of society by developing, enhancing, and supporting the growth and vitality of the science of behavior analysis through research, education, and practice.


31st Annual Convention; Chicago, IL; 2005

Event Details

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Paper Session #287
Int'l Paper Session - Neural Events and Automatic Reinforcement
Monday, May 30, 2005
9:00 AM–9:50 AM
Astoria (3rd floor)
Area: TPC
Chair: Jose E. Burgos (University of Guadalajara, Mexico)
Radical Behaviorism Allows for Neural Causation
Domain: Theory
JOSE E. BURGOS (University of Guadalajara, Mexico)
Abstract: The radical-behavioristic tenet that neural events do not cause behavioral events is problematic in one crucial respect. In radical behaviorism, causal relations are conceived as functional relations where causes are independent variables and effects are dependent variables. However, there are ordered functional relations whose independent variables are neural and whose dependent variables are behavioral. Radical behaviorism thus allows for neural causation of behavior.
An Analysis of the Concept of "Automatic Reinforcment"
Domain: Theory
KENNETH MACALEESE (University of Nevada, Reno)
Abstract: In contemporary behavior theory, “automatic reinforcement” is regarded as positive (or negative) reinforcement that is not mediated by another person, i.e., is not “socially mediated.” In addition to the issue of distinguishing between social and nonsocially mediated sources of reinforcement, the problem with automatic reinforcement is that it is not well integrated with theory and research on continuous, conjugate, and synchronous reinforcement. These three types or “schedules” of reinforcement may each constitute automatic reinforcement in some cases and at some times, but not in other cases and not at other times. Highlighted along the way will be the history and current status of automatic reinforcement, again with an eye toward determining exactly what is and is not meant by the term.



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