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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Symposium #385
Edward F. Malagodi Symposium Two: Experimental Analyst, Philosopher, Radical Behaviorist
Monday, May 30, 2005
3:00 PM–4:20 PM
International South (2nd floor)
Area: EAB; Domain: Theory
Chair: Jeff Kupfer (Jeff Kupfer, PA)
CE Instructor: Jeff Kupfer, Ph.D.
Abstract: These symposia are devoted to celebrating the works of E. F. Malagodi (1935 – 1996), and recognizing his contributions to the science of behavior. The contributing speakers are behavior analysts who were graduate students under Malagodi, and colleagues that worked closely with Malagodi at the University of Florida. The two symposia are classified into areas in which Malagodi had significant influence upon behavior analysis. The first symposium consists of four papers devoted to human and non-human experimental analyses in sensory and conditioned reinforcement, and experimental psychopathology. The second symposium consists of three papers and a discussion devoted to Radical behaviorism, extending behavior analyses to cultural issues, and Malagodi’s impact on the development of graduate training at the University of Florida
On the Relevance of Cultural Processes to Behavior Analysis
KEVIN JACKSON (State of Florida)
Abstract: E.F. Malagodi appreciated the important relation of cultural processes to behavior analysis. Behavior analysis has much to gain by adopting this appreciation. Incorporating relevant, objective sciences into behaviorism's worldview remains an accepted part of behavior analysis. Unfortunately, social sciences often are viewed by behavior analysts as unworthy pseudosciences, superfluous to the far superior science and methods offered by behavior analysis. However, as suggested by Malagodi, rather than view cultural processes as reducible to individual contingencies, we need to recognize cultural science as unique and distinct from behavior analysis, much as we recognize biological science. We need to adopt objective cultural science into our own worldview. To do otherwise is to narrow the behavior analysis position on cultural change to a form of cultural idealism or cognitive anthropology in which thoughts and ideas, public or not, play a critical explanatory role in determining cultural practices. Behavioralizing our culture and bringing cultural practices under the control of long-term consequences was a major theme and objective of Skinner's work and remains an important part of our discipline. An understanding of cultural processes is a necessary component for achieving this objective. Such an understanding is critical for ensuring that humankind fully benefits from the sciences of human behavior.
Applications Approximating Malagodi's World View
MICHAEL STOUTIMORE (Florida Child Welfare Behavior Analysis Services Program)
Abstract: Per Ed Malagodi's world view and consistent with Cultural Materialism, Infrastructural meta-contingencies and associated practices drive Structural and Superstructural meta-contingencies and their corresponding practices. Scientific practices, including behavior analysis and the contingencies affecting the behavior of individual behavior analysts, are the least ultimate, most proximal, in this sequence of control. A depressing but logical conclusion is that individuals engaged in the design of cultural changes are "waving at windmills." As a result, Ed Malagodi appeared to many as a Don Quixote and, like Don Quixote, Malagodi was undaunted. Not unrelated, Malagodi was one of only a few behavior analysts who consistently recognized the interrelated, equally important functions of behavior analysis practitioners, and applied and basic behavior analysts.Malagodi's world view influenced the design of mini-cultures, residential programs and a statewide child welfare service delivery system. The child welfare system innovations are based upon the processes and procedures derived from basic research, populated by behavior analysis practitioners, and supporting and supported by applied and basic behavior analysis research. From a cultural perspective such innovations are primarily important because of the direct immediate benefits to the recipients of these improved contingencies. Because these innovations have produced a growth in the number of individuals using, practicing and benefiting from behavior analysis they may have contributed to the survival of behavior analysis, itself, as a cultural practice. Because child welfare practices do affect the election of Governors there is also greater potential for the expansion of behavior analytic practices at a statewide level into other socially meaningful areas. From a global cultural perspective these behavior analytic Superstructural changes alone are unlikely to alter the big picture of culture change in a meaningful way. However, Governors are in a position to beneficially affect Infrastructural contingencies (e.g., contingencies involved in the use and production of oil as opposed to the development of alternative resources and practices for obtaining energy). Competing with efforts at cultural change are the CEO's of corporate giants whose immediate interests are presently best served by existing Infrastructural practices. Although saying so may sound to some like "windmill waving," Malagodi's perspective towa
Where All the Behaviorists Went
MARC N. BRANCH (University of Florida)
Abstract: In 1979, at the annual meeting of ABA in Dearborn, Michigan, I presented a paper, co-authored with E. F. Malagodi, with the title, “Where Have all the Behaviorists Gone?” That presentation lamented the diminished role that behaviorism was playing in academic psychology and specified possible reasons for the decline. In this presentation, I shall recap the worries described in the 1979 presentation, and try to present a perspective on what has happened in the academic side of the behavioristic enterprise since that time. I shall also offer opinions on where behaviorists ought to go in the future.
Ed Malagodi: My Colleague, Teacher, and Friend
HENRY S. PENNYPACKER (University of Florida)
Abstract: I will act as a discussant, bringing together what the other contributors say in the context of the Ed I knew longer than anyone else.



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