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What is Social Behavior

What is Social Behavior?

Blogger: Andy Lattal, Ph.D. In an old experiment, Boren (1966) placed two Rhesus monkeys in separate operant chambers so that the two animals were visually and aurally isolated from one another. His was an experiment on mutual reinforcement, so the schedules were arranged such that Rhesus A’s responses produced reinforcement only for Monkey B and Rhesus
Generalists and Specialists

Generalists and Specialists

Blogger: Andy Lattal, Ph.D. In a recent piece in the New York Times titled, “You Don’t Want a Child Prodigy: What ‘Roger’ Dads do Better Than Tiger Moms Ever Will” by David Epstein, the author weighs the relative merits of raising children as “specialists,” focusing on one skill at which they excel, as in musical and sports prodigies,
fox-henhouse
Being vigilant and attuned to the threats of invasive species and invasive behavioral events may be the best thing that can be done. Keeping them out is important, but when they appear, managing them early seems critical.

Complex Behavior

“Complex” has two uses in psychology. One is to describe something with a lot of “moving parts.” The other use of complex is “I don’t understand it.”

Out of Thin Air?

In speaking of the origins of operant behavior, Skinner famously observed that “[o]perant conditioning shapes behavior as a sculptor shapes a lump of clay.

When in Doubt, Make a Cumulative Record

The origins of cumulative frequency plots, as they were known, date back to at least a couple of centuries ago, and now appear frequently in popular media.
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Creating Your Personal Brand

Whether you are a recent college graduate, starting your career, or an established profession, having a personal brand helps as you calibrate your choices.

Behavioristic Bliss

Someone recently sent me a rather gloomy article titled, “Your Professional Decline is Coming Much Sooner Thank You Think.” The author, Arthur Brooks, says that everyone over the age of 50 is washed up in their current careers, and should quit and do something else!

Rules Rule, or Do They?

Rules are derived to guide behavior under certain conditions. Rule-governed behavior occupies a prominent place in behavior-analytic theory.
Psychologically speaking, an agent is an entity responsible for a course of action. Some psychological agents with which many of us are familiar are “personality,” “conscience,” “self,” and “stress.”

A Signal Experience

I recently found myself caught up in a great discussion with two colleagues, both of whom I highly respect, concerning a particular term that we see in many places in our science. The discussion centered around whether or not it is good Behavior-ese to describe a discriminative stimulus as signaling the availability of reinforcement.
Once upon a time, there were twins named Immedium and Procrastinium. As their names might suggest, the two approached tasks very differently.
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