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.

What’s Free About the Free Operant?

 Free operant originally described an experimental arrangement in which the organism could move about freely, without constraint. It was used in part to distinguish the typical operant situation from the Pavlovian or respondent, one in which the experimental animal was restrained so that the reflex could be measured more easily.

Treating Dangerous Behavior

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” threshold?

A Self-ish Behavior Analysis?

Whoever came up with the idea of self? In his recent book, Flesh in the Age of Reason, Roy Porter suggested it might be 16th-century French philosopher Déscartes.