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The concept of establishing operation in behavior analysis

Caio F. Miguel About the author

In general terms, establishing operations can be defined as environmental events that alter the reinforcing effectiveness of a stimulus, as well as evoke all behavior that, in the past, has been followed by such a stimulus. The concept seems to describe, in behavioral terms, what is usually called motivation. The present paper is an attempt to didactically present the theoretical development of the concept and discuss its current status in the Experimental Analysis of Behavior and Applied Behavior Analysis.

establishing operations; motivation; behavior analysis; behaviorism

Instituto de Psicologia, Universidade de Brasília Instituto de Psicologia, Universidade de Brasília, 70910-900 - Brasília - DF - Brazil, Tel./Fax: (061) 274-6455 - Brasília - DF - Brazil