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Behavior and Philosophy



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Behavior and Philosophy, 38, 157-160 (2010). COMMENTS ON SIDMAN’S REMARKS SERIES. William J. McIlvane.
As a graduate student working in Murray Sidman's group at the Shriver Center when his Remarks series came out, I recall clearly reading each one as it appeared and discussing the series with my advisor, Larry Stoddard. I recall just as clearly my questions, then unstated, about why Murray was spending his valuable time on these little essays. They were always written thoughtfully and well, of course, because he has always written thoughtfully and well; his 2010 Remarks column demonstrates that his ability has not changed over the years. That acknowledged, I recall my puzzlement back then because so many of the points he made in this series were so obviously right that I thought that any competent behavioral scientist—certainly any behavior analyst—would surely agree with him.
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Behavior and Philosophy, 38, 161-163 (2010). STIMULUS CONTROL AS AN INSTANCE OR AN INFERENCE: COMMENTARY ON REMARKS BY MURRAY SIDMAN. Iver H. Iversen.
You are at a dinner table with unknown people, and you say to the person sitting across from you "Pass the salt, please"; with no hesitation the person passes the salt, and you say ―Thank you.‖ You come with your dog to a street corner and say "sit"; the dog immediately sits, and you pat it on the head. You are in the clinic working with a child with developmental disabilities, and you ask the child to ―Pick up the red crayon‖; the child picks it up, and you say "very good" and smile. Later, you ask the child to "Pick up the green crayon" and the child picks up the green crayon and you again say "very good" and smile. You sit in front of your computer and work your way through the many icons and buttons, all with their different signs, and eventually get to where you want to be. Throughout the day we encounter situations where we either ask someone to react to what we say or we react to what other people say or to icons on our computer, etc. These are all instances where a single stimulus requires a s
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Behavior and Philosophy, 38, 165-168 (2010). EXPANDING THE LOGICAL BASIS OF EXPERIMENTAL DESIGNS IN BEHAVIOUR ANALYSIS: A DIGRESSION FROM SIDMAN (1981). Javier Virués-Ortega.
"[R]esearch reports. . .in applied behaviour analysis seem to emphasize experimental design at the expense of the study's substantive aims. It is sometimes difficult to brush away the uncomfortable impression that design is becoming an end in itself, that instead of fitting designs to problems, investigators are devising problems to fit the designs" (Sidman, 1981, p. 128). This remark raises issues still highly relevant to behaviour analysis today: (a) experimental designs are to be developed after the nature of valuable data for a given scientific purpose is established, and (b) an inflexible adherence to a limited variety of experimental designs may obscure the believability and general usefulness of the evidence they produce.
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Behavior and Philosophy, 38, 169-171 (2010). THE SCIENTIST AS BEHAVING ORGANISM. Steven C. Hayes.
The core analytic unit in any evolutionary perspective is variation and selective retention. Behavior analysis has always been part of the community of evolution sciences, but in some ways it is the most thorough going because it is most willing to consider the behavior of the scientist in the same terms.
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Behavior and Philosophy, 38, 173-177 (2010). COMMENTS ON SIDMAN'S REMARKS. Erik Arntzen.
I am deeply honored by the invitation to comment on Murray Sidman's Remarks (Sidman, 1976, 1977a, 1977b, 1978, 1979, 1981, 2011). At the same time, I have to agree with Sidman's own comments in one of those remarks: "It is difficult to add anything cogent that has not already been said" (Sidman, 1976, p. 279). In the present commentary I will mention two of the issues I have found important in my experience in behavior analysis: stimulus control and experimental design.
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Behavior and Philosophy, 38, 179-197 (2010). REPLY TO COMMENTARIES ON REMARKS COLUMNS. Murray Sidman.
I was surprised and to a considerable extent pleased that Per Holth and Jay Moore, two behavior analysts for whom I have the greatest respect, thought that my six Remarks columns, published back in the late 1970s and early 1980s, were still sufficiently stimulating to be republished now, and that they had something more than just historical interest. I could therefore not resist the request that I prepare a seventh column to go with the earlier ones.
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Behavior and Philosophy, 37, vii-viii (2009). EDITOR'S PREFACE
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Behavior and Philosophy, 37, 1-2 (2009). INTRODUCTION TO SPECIAL SECTION: COVERT BEHAVIOR AND PRIVATE EVENTS IN RADICAL BEHAVIORISM
This special section gathers five target papers on the issue of covert behavior and private events in radical behaviorism, plus one commentary of the papers.
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Behavior and Philosophy, 37, 3-19 (2009). THE ROLE OF PRIVATE EVENTS IN THE INTERPRETATION OF COMPLEX BEHAVIOR, David Palmer.
Like most other sciences, behavior analysis adopts an assumption of uniformity, namely that principles discovered under controlled conditions apply outside the laboratory as well. Since the boundary between public and private depends on the vantage point of the observer, observability is not an inherent property of behavior. From this perspective, private events are assumed to enter into the same orderly relations as public behavior, and the distinction between public and private events is merely a practical one. Private events play no role in the experimental analysis of behavior, but they permit us to make sense of many commonplace phenomena where controlled observation is impossible but unsystematic data are available. Such interpretive exercises serve both to guide research and to displace occult explanations.
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Behavior and Philosophy, 37, 21-37 (2009). WHY THE RADICAL BEHAVIORIST CONCEPTION OF PRIVATE EVENTS IS INTERESTING, RELEVANT, AND IMPORTANT, Jay Moore.
For radical behaviorists, talk about "private events" could be about any of four things: (a) private behavioral events, (b) physiology, (c) dispositions, or (d) explanatory fictions. Talk about private events as behavioral engages the influence of feelings, sensations, and covert operant behavior. Analyses based on private behavioral events allow radical behaviorists to understand how those events contribute to contingencies controlling subsequent operant behavior, whether verbal or nonverbal. Talk about private events in physiological terms risks confounding explanatory categories. Although physiology necessarily participates in behavioral events, physiological events are not the same type as behavioral events, public or private. Rather, an organism's physiology is a material cause. To portray physiology as an autonomous, initiating cause, as traditional psychology often does, creates a variety of explanatory problems. Talk about private events as dispositions does not reflect anything literally private. Rat
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