Guest Blogger: Andy Lattal 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:  “she behaves that way because she has an outgoing personality” (the

A Signal Experience

Guest Blogger: Andy Lattal 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
Guest Blogger: Andy Lattal   Once upon a time, there were twins named Immedium and Procrastinium. As their names might suggest, the two approached tasks very differently. When a deadline was assigned, Procrastinium’s first reaction was to do something else, while Immedium started on it and soon got it done, PDQ, kazaam, what’s next? As
Guest Blogger: Dr. Andy Lattal There is another question to be answered before considering the question in the title of this commentary: “What is a free operant, anyway?” It is an expression that sometimes appears in talks and articles, but it isn’t as commonly used as it once was. Free operant originally described an experimental arrangement in which

Treating Dangerous Behavior

Guest Blogger: Andy Lattal Dangerous behavior simply can’t be ignored. The person engaging in it is going to either hurt herself or someone else if it continues. Saying that is easy, knowing what to do about it is a rabbit hole. At what point does the behavior become more than “disruptive” and cross the “dangerous”
Guest Blog by Andy Lattal, Ph.D.   I just googled the word “self”: 3,540,000,000 hits, more or less. That’s three point five billion, just to be clear. Wow. What a word. What a construct. Whoever came up with the idea of self? (In his recent book, Flesh in the Age of Reason, which I highly recommend,