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Psicologia: Reflexão e Crítica
On-line version ISSN 1678-7153
TODOROV, João Claudio. From Aplysia to the constitution: evolution of concepts in behavior analysis. Psicol. Reflex. Crit. [online]. 2004, vol.17, n.2, pp. 151-156. ISSN 1678-7153. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0102-79722004000200003.
This work presents the evolution of concepts in behavior analysis, especially in the writings of Skinner, from the definition of operant behavior and reinforcement contingency to processes of selection by consequences, following the development of a conceptual language that covers both the behavior of molluscs and the metacontingencies included in the constitution of a country. Skinner's first papers used the terminology developed by Pavlov in his studies of conditioned reflexes to deal with behavior in general. From Skinner's doctoral dissertation to the papers published in the 80's there was an evolution, followed by the field of behavior analysis, which today uses the same, sophisticated language to deal with complex issues like cultural practices and the survival of cultures.
Keywords : Operant; reinforcement contingency; selection by consequences; metacontingency; behavior analysis.