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.


First International Conference; Italy, 2001

Event Details

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Paper Session #19
Contingencies of Reinforcement
Thursday, November 29, 2001
11:00 AM–11:50 AM
Bibliography Hall
Area: TPC
Chair: Richard W. Malott (Western Michigan University)
The Corollaries of Reinforcement and Punishment and Their Implications for Behavioral Intervention
Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
GARY W. LAVIGNA (Institute for Applied Behavior Analysis)
Abstract: Reinforcement, punishment, and extinction are defined by their effects on the future probability of behavior. In this paper, the corollaries to reinforcement, punishment, and extinction will be stated in terms of their effects on the immediate probability of behavior. The implications of these more immediate effects will be discussed in terms of their impact on the selection and design of a comprehensive behavior support plan. Additionally, a multielement model, which includes proactive and reactive strategies, will be presented. Among other things, this model will establish the effects of these operations on the immediate probability of behavior as a critical measure of outcome success. Illustrative examples will be provided and a research agenda for the future will be discussed.
The Protagonist of Contingencies, or, Who is Behind Behavior?
Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
NUNO MARTINS SILVA (Alameda da Universidade, Portugal)
Abstract: As a kind of "marginal" behaviorist, there are some questions that I would like to raise in the presence of paradigmatic representatives of behavior analysis. These are not rhetorical questions, instead, they express certain contradictions experienced when trying to interpret and explain behavior in terms of contingencies of reinforcement. My present conviction is that behavior analysis can offer a great contribution to the enhancement of human freedom, but why is our culture so diffident towards our proposals? Is it because the insistence on the laws relating environmental variables to behavior concealed the being behind behavior? May be "autonomous man" is a metaphysical and mischievous illusion, but why all living things, and specially humans, try to be autonomous in order to control and master situations, instead of being controlled and enslaved by outside events? Does our language take accent of this fact? How deal with stoic philosophy, when it says that the exterior has no meaning and that good and bad things depend on our way of thinking? Can we change the world without changing ourselves? Instead of changing behaviours through the scientific manipulation of contingencies could not we led people to change willingly, trough reasonable and rational discussion and persuasion? Do we live to be reinforced, or are we reinforced to live? Is behavior more than a strategy or a tactic of an organism that has to take into consideration the characteristics of the world in order to persevere? Philogenetic and environmental variables explain why we are different and behave differently in different circumstances, but do they explain the constants of the behavior of complex living systems, especially humans? Those are some of the questions of a solitary behaviorist. They all turn around the quest for interior and exterior freedom of the human person.



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