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Psychology | The Behavior Analyst

Perspectives on Behavior Science

Perspectives on Behavior Science

An Official Journal of the Association for Behavior Analysis International

Editor-in-Chief: Donald Hantula

ISSN: 2520-8969 (print version)
ISSN: 2520-8977 (electronic version)

Journal no. 40614

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Special Section of Perspectives on Behavior Science: Cultural and Behavioral Systems Science

Guest Associate Editors: Traci Cihon ( traci.cihon@unt.edu ) and Mark Mattaini (mattaini@uic.edu) 

Skinner (1948) imagined a world in which the natural science of behavior would be applied to free us from coercive cultural practices. He elaborated on these ideas in several subsequent, non-fictional works (e.g., Skinner, 1953; 1971; 1974; 1987). These works provided the theoretical basis for analyzing cultural practices from a behavioral/selectionist perspective. The conceptualization of the metacontingency (Glenn, 1988; 2004; Glenn & Malott, M., 2004; Glenn et al., 2016; Houmanfar & Rodrigues, 2006) has encouraged further theoretical conversations among behavior scientists and behavior analysts regarding how selection occurs at the cultural level. These works have thus spurred a number of laboratory studies involving experimental microcultures aimed to mimic the contingencies in effect for individuals and coordinated behaviors of individuals regarding cooperation (e.g., Locey, Safin, & Rachlin, 2013), allocation of common-pool resources (e.g., Camargo & Haydu, 2016), and others (e.g., Ortu, Becker, Woelz, & Glenn, 2012; De Carvalho, Couto, Gois, Sandaker, & Todorov, 2017). Collaborations between those interested in cultural analysis and behavioral systems analysis have been forged as organizations have proved to be conducive to the study of the coordinated behaviors of individuals (e.g., Malott, M., 2003; 2015; Malott, M. & Glenn, 2006; Sandaker, 2009). Still others have contributed toward Skinner’s vision with conceptual analyses regarding the contingencies leading to and maintaining cultural practices (e.g., Biglan & Glenn, 2013; Mattaini, 2013; Rachlin & Locey, 2011).
With some working under the umbrella of cultural analysis/selection and others working under the umbrella of behavioral systems science, behavioral systems scientists are increasingly contributing to a better understanding of the selection and maintenance of cultural practices, the processes involved in dynamic systems, and the interactions between and amongst complex systems (e.g., political, economic, educational, social, legal, religious, etc.). Yet our understanding of practices in and/or interactions between or among dynamic systems, let alone our influence on changing ineffective practices, leaves much to be determined as is evidenced by a number of recent calls for action (e.g., Biglan, 2015; 2016; Biglan & Embry, 2013; Dixon, Belisle, Rehfeldt, & Root, 2018; Mattaini & Aspholm, 2016; Wilson, Hayes, Biglan, & Embry, 2014).
Perspectives on Behavior Science welcomes manuscript submissions for the special section on Cultural and Behavioral Systems Science. Manuscripts that involve collaboration with other disciplines are strongly encouraged. We seek submissions that
● review the existing literature, inside and outside of behavior science and behavior analysis, and propose hypotheses regarding the behavioral processes that support ineffective cultural practices and propose viable solutions, and/or those that support effective cultural practices
● provide historical accounts of dynamic systems and cultural practices that have led to or maintain significant social issues
● offer an analysis of various sectors and their respective practices, contingencies, and obstacles regarding how each sector might influence practices toward more desirable outcomes
● report experimental evaluations of efforts to produce large-scale change at the systems, community, and cultural levels conducted in either natural or laboratory settings
● describe ecological observations of cultural- and systems-level phenomena
● describe and provide computer software that models dynamic complex systems
● advance the conceptual and theoretical work in cultural and behavioral systems science
To receive consideration, papers must be submitted no later than February 1, 2019 via the journal's online system at https://www.editorialmanager.com/tbha/default.aspx and should be flagged for the special section on Cultural and Behavioral Systems Science by using the Article Type pull-down menu in the journal's online portal.
Papers should be approximately 20 manuscript pages (excluding tables, figures and references) and conform in all ways to the requirements for submissions to Perspectives on Behavior Science as described in the online system. It is recommended that papers be professionally proofread prior to submission. Any papers that have been accepted but are not finalized, for any reason, by November 1, 2019 will be rejected.
Inquiries regarding possible submissions should be sent to Guest Associate Editor: Traci Cihon traci.cihon@unt.edu
Biglan, A. (2015). The nurture effect: How the science of human behavior can improve our lives and our
world. Oakland, CA: New Harbinger.
Biglan, A. (2016). The need for a more effective science of cultural practices. The Behavior Analyst, 39(1), 97-107.
Biglan, A., & Embry, D. (2013). A framework for intentional cultural change. Journal Of Contextual Behavioral
Science, 2(3-4), 95-104. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jcbs.2013.06.001
Biglan, A., & Glenn, S. S. (2013). Toward prosocial behavior and environments: Behavioral and
cultural contingencies in a public health framework. In G. J. Madden, W. V. Dube, T. D. Hackenberg, G. P. Hanley, & K. A. Lattal (Eds.), APA Handbook of Behavior Analysis, Vol. 2: Translating Principles Into Practice (pp. 255–275). Washington, D.C.: American Psychological Association.
Camargo, J., & Haydu, V.B. (2016). Fostering the sustainable use of common-pool resources
through behavioral interventions: An experimental approach. Behavior and Social Issues, 25, 61-76. https://doi.org/10.5210/bsi.v25i0.6328
De Carvalho, L. C., Couto, K. C., Gois, N. de S., Sandaker, I., & Todorov, J. C. (2017). Evaluating effects of
cultural consequences on the variability of interlocking behavioral contingencies and their aggregate products. European Journal of Behavior Analysis, 18(1), 84–98. doi:10.1080/15021149.2016.1231003
Dixon, M. R., Belisle, J., Rehfeldt, R. A., & Root, W. B. (2018). Why we are still not acting to save the world: The
upward challenge of a post-Skinnerian behavior science. Perspectives on Behavior Science, 1-27. https://doi.org/10.1007/s40614-018-0162-9
Glenn, S. S. (1988). Contingencies and metacontingencies: Toward a synthesis of behavior
analysis and cultural materialism. The Behavior Analyst, 11(2), 161-179.
Glenn, S. S. (2004). Individual behavior, culture, and social change. The Behavior Analyst, 27(2),
133-151. https://doi.org/10.1007/bf03393175
Glenn, S. S., & Malott, M. E. (2004). Complexity and selection: Implications for organizational
change. Behavior and Social Issues, 13(2), 89-106. https://doi.org/10.5210/bsi.v13i2.378
Glenn, S. S., Malott, M. E., Andery, M. A. P. A., Benvenuti, M., Houmanfar, R. A., Sandaker, I.,
et al. (2016). Toward consistent terminology in a behaviorist approach to cultural
analysis. Behavior and Social Issues, 25, 11-27. https://doi.org/10.5210/bsi.v25i0.6634
Houmanfar, R. A. & Rodrigues, N. J. (2006). The metacontingency and the behavioral contingency:
Points of contact and departure. Behavior and Social Issues, 15, 13-29. https://doi.org/10.5210/bsi.v19i0.3065
Locey, M., Safin, V., & Rachlin, H. (2013). Social discounting and the prisoner’s dilemma game.
Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior, 99(1), 85–97. http://doi.org/10.1002/jeab.3.Social
Malott, M. E. (2003). Paradox of organizational change: engineering organizations with behavioral systems
analysis. Reno, NV: Context Press.
Malott, M. E. (2015). What studying leadership can teach us about the science of behavior. The Behavior
Analyst, 39(1), 47–74. doi:10.1007/s40614-015-0049-y
Malott, M. E., & Glenn, S. S. (2006). Targets of intervention in cultural and behavioral change.
Behavior and Social Issues, 15, 31-56. https://doi.org/10.5210/bsi.v15i1.344
Mattaini, M. A. (2013). Strategic nonviolent power: the science of satyagraha. Edmonton, AB: AU Press.
Mattaini, M. A., & Aspholm, R. (2016). Contributions of behavioral systems science to leadership for a new
progressive movement. The Behavior Analyst, 39(1), 109–121. doi:10.1007/s40614-015-0043-4
Ortu, D., Becker, A. M., Woelz, T. A. R., Glenn, S. S. (2012). An iterated four-player prisoner's dilemma game with
an external selecting agent: A metacontingency experiment. Revista Latinoamericana de Psicología, 44(1), 111-120.
Rachlin, H., & Locey, M. (2011). A behavioral analysis of altruism. Behavioural Processes,
87(1), 25–33. http://doi.org/10.1016/j.beproc.2010.12.004
Sandaker, I. (2009). A selectionist perspective on systemic and behavioral change in organizations. Journal of
Organizational Behavior Management, 29(3-4), 276–293. doi:10.1080/01608060903092128
Skinner, B. F. (1948). Walden Two. New York, NY: Macmillan Co.
Skinner, B. F. (1953). Science and human behavior. New York, NY: Macmillan Co.
Skinner, B. F. (1971). Beyond freedom and dignity. Indianapolis, IN: Hackett Publishing Company,
Skinner, B. F. (1974). About behaviorism. New York, NY: Random House Inc.
Skinner, B. F. (1987). Why we are not acting to save the world. In B. F. Skinner (Ed.) Upon Further Reflection (pp.
1-14). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.
Wilson, D. S., Hayes, S. C., Biglan, A., & Embry, D. D. (2014). Evolving the future: Toward a science of intentional
change. The Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 37(4), 395-416. https://doi.org/10.1017/s0140525x13001593
Other References for Consideration
Baum, W. M., Richerson, P. J., Efferson, C. M., & Paciotti, B. M. (2004). Cultural evolution in laboratory
microsocieties including traditions of rule giving and rule following. Evolution and Human Behavior, 25(5), 305-326. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.evolhumbehav.2004.05.003
De Carvalho, L. C., Sandaker, I., & Ree, G. (2017). An ethnographic study of tagging cultures. Behavior and
Social Issues, 26, 67-94. doi:10.5210/bsi.v26i0.6621
Houmanfar, R. A., & Mattani, M. A. (Eds.) (2018). Leadership for cultural change: Managing future well-being.
New York, NY: Routledge.
Luke, M. M., & Alavosius, M. (2012). Impacting community sustainability through behavior change: A research
framework. Behavior and Social Issues, 21, 54-79. http://dx.doi.org/10.5210/bsi.v21i0.3938
McElreath, R., Lubell, M., Richerson, P. J., Waring, T. M., Baum, W. M., Edsten, E., . . . Paciotti, B. M. (2005).
Applying evolutionary models to the laboratory study of social learning. Evolution and Human Behavior, 26(6), 483-508. http://doi.org/10.1016/j.evolhumbehav.2005.04.003

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    The Behavior Analyst is an official publication of the Association for Behavior Analysis International. It is published twice annually, and in addition to its articles on theoretical, experimental, and applied topics in behavior analysis, this journal also includes literature reviews, re-interpretations of published data, and articles on behaviorism as a philosophy.
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