When Punishment is a Reinforcer

Wednesday, 29 Apr 2020 by Andy Lattal, PhD
Punishment, by definition, reduces, weakens, or eliminates (depending on one’s theoretical bias) the responses on which it depends. But punishment also reinforces other behavior, notably that of the one administering the punishment.

What is Social Behavior?

Tuesday, 7 Apr 2020 by Andy Lattal, PhD
In an old experiment, Boren (1966) placed two Rhesus monkeys in separate operant chambers so that the two animal

Generalists and Specialists

Friday, 3 Apr 2020 by Andy Lattal, PhD
In a recent piece in the New York Times titled, “

Invasive Behavioral Events: Lessons from Invasive Species

Tuesday, 24 Mar 2020 by Andy Lattal, PhD
The stability of an ecosystem, including the species that occupy it, can be disrupted when an invasive species appears in it.

Complex Behavior

Tuesday, 10 Mar 2020 by Andy Lattal, PhD
“Complex” has two uses in psychology.

Out of Thin Air?

Tuesday, 3 Mar 2020 by Andy Lattal, PhD
Ever think about where operant behavior comes from? What is it before that first reinforcer occurs? 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

Wednesday, 26 Feb 2020 by Andy Lattal, PhD
Contrary to a popular myth among many behavior analysts, Skinner invented neither the

Creating Your Personal Brand

Tuesday, 18 Feb 2020 by Kelly Therrien, MS, BCBA
What comes to mind when you hear the word brand?

Behavioristic Bliss

Tuesday, 11 Feb 2020 by Andy Lattal, PhD
Someone recently sent me a rather gloomy article titled, “Your Professional De

Rules Rule, or Do They?

Tuesday, 4 Feb 2020 by Andy Lattal, PhD
Rules are everywhere, from the Ten Commandments to those whose violations bring us into traffic court. It is no surprise that rule-governed behavior occupies such a prominent place in behavior-analytic theory.

Behavior Analysis’s Not-So-Secret Agent

Thursday, 23 Jan 2020 by Andy Lattal, PhD
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.” Each of these agents is said to be responsible for behavior: