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Document Type

Article

Abstract

For over 40 years, much research has sought to mathematically describe the relation between operant choice responding and reinforcement. This quantitatively oriented research and the accompanying theoretical interpretation of the data are embedded in the broader context of general experimental psychology, which can at times be regrettably mentalistic. Researchers and theorists in the area of the quantitative analysis of behavior may therefore need to be sensitive to mentalistic influences arising from outside the experimental analysis of behavior. One possible mentalistic influence is the psychophysics of S. S. Stevens. A second is the use of “value” as an intervening, mediating organismic variable, in the fashion of mediational S-O-R neobehaviorism. A third is essentialist thinking and the explanatory strategy of instantiation, rather than the pragmatism of the experimental analysis of behavior.

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