This book offers a solid introduction to the principles of behavior using a clear, interesting, entertaining style with many case studies, and everyday examples. It maintains a high level of intellectual rigor, addressing fundamental concepts at the beginning of each chapter with more advanced topics left for one of the two enrichment sections within each chapter. Chapter topics cover the reinforcer, reinforcement, escape, punishment, penalty, extinction and recovery, differential reinforcement and punishment, shaping, unlearned reinforcers and aversive conditions, special establishing operations, learned reinforcers and aversive conditions, discrimination, imitation, avoidance, punishment by prevention, ratio schedules, time-dependent schedules, concurrent contingencies, stimulus-response chains and rate contingencies, respondent conditioning, analogs to reinforcement, a theory of rule-governed behavior, pay for performance, moral and legal control, maintenance, transfer, and research methods. For psychologists, clinical psychologists, and social workers who do not specialize in behavioral analysis; as well as for supervisors and managers.
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Elizabeth Trojan Suarez. Elizabeth Suarez received her BA in psychology from Michigan State University in 1993 her MA in behavior analysis in 1998 and her Ph.D. in behavior analysis in 2001 from WMU. She is progressing toward her full licensure as a psychologist in the State of Michigan and working as a Mental Health Therapist at Riverwood Center.
Richard W. Malott. Richard Malott received his BA in psychology from Indiana University in 1958 and his PhD in experimental psychology from Columbia University in 1963. He taught at Denison University from 1963 to 1969 and has been teaching at WMU since 1969.Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:
When we wrote the first edition of this textbook (at that time titled Elementary Principles of Behavior EPB), we intended it for first-year, university-level psychology courses. But an American Psychology Association committee pleasantly surprised us by also recommending it for high school psychology courses. Then we found behavior analysts using it at all levels, including graduate courses; in a variety of departments, from dentistry to social work to special education; and from community colleges to universities to in-service training programs. So we've tried to write subsequent editions with all of these audiences in mind. To assess the generality of our success, we evaluate Principles of Behavior (PB) in both graduate and undergraduate courses. Though grad students differ from undergrads, of course, the grad students evaluate the book at least as favorably as the undergrads.
We've built more flexibility into this edition to accommodate further this variety of audiences, especially with our different levels of the enrichment section. But also, we've tried to write the essential Fundamentals sections to appeal to both the jaded graddate student and the eager freshman. And, we've tried to write those Fundamentals sections so all students can easily understand them. However, though we've tried to make the Fundamentals simple, we've also tried not to make them simplistic. And though we've tried to make the Fundamentals clear, we've also tried not to make them conceptually unrigorous. (Some value a book only if it's difficult; we hope such readers will feel compelled to adopt different criteria.)
THE FUNDAMENTALS AND ENRICHMENT SECTIONS
The following material is redundant with a section in Chapter 1, but it's worth mentioning here also. We've divided each chapter into two main sections. We call the second section the Enrichment section. All the subsections that come before it we call the Fundamentals section, the bare bones of the text. The student needs to master each Fundamentals section to understand the Fundamentals sections of following chapters. However, the student needn't master the Enrichment sections to understand the later Fundamentals sections. Also, we've usually divided the Enrichment section into three levels-Basic, Intermediate, and a few Advanced Enrichment sections. We've tried to keep the Basic sections at the same level of difficulty as the Fundamentals sections. The Intermediate and Advanced levels get progressively more difficult and esoteric; yet they assume no knowledge of behavior analysis beyond this book.
Here's the audience to whom we've aimed each level: the Basic level—beginning students who will do no further work in behavior analysis, and the Intermediate level—juniors, seniors, and others who will be doing further work in behavior analysis. We assume anyone reading the Intermediate level also will read the lower-level. The Advanced level is for true scholars. For access to other advanced enrichment sections, we invite you to visit our web site at www.DickMalott.com. Of course, the instructor may evaluate the levels of difficulty or appropriateness differently than we have.
IN THE SKINNER BOX
To illustrate many basic behavioral contingencies and procedures, we go to hypothetical examples in the Skinner box. We find the simplicity of the life of the rat or pigeon in the test chamber to be an excellent tool for understanding the complexity of the life of the human being in the normal environment. We also do this to emphasize the phylogenic continuity of the principles of behavior. But we put most of this in the Enrichment section, so teachers can omit it if they wish to play down that continuity. (Incidentally, we've found phylogenic continuity of behavior doesn't put off most students. Students are amazingly open to new ideas. However, their professors in the humanities and social sciences aren't always so open!)
When we first introduce specific behavior analysts in this book, we normally do so formally, with their last name and professional title. But then we usually move into an informal first-name style. We do this for three reasons: We think this style makes for more pleasant reading about real people with real first names. We think this style may suggest that professional behavior analysts are just regular human beings and that being a professional behavior analyst is a reasonable goal to which the reader might aspire. Finally, a first-name style correctly suggests that behavior analysts form a small, close-knit, warm, and friendly family whose members know each other on a first-name basis. On the other hand, we don't intend to suggest presumptuous familiarity. Our data say that students prefer it this way.
WHERE'S THE INTRODUCTORY CHAPTER?
We omitted the traditional intro chapter because we find that general intro summaries of a discipline make great logical sense to the professional but little pedagogical sense to the novice. By being broad, summaries must be too general, too abstract, and too vague to alter effectively the repertoire of the beginning reader or to act as an effective establishing operation or discriminative stimulus that will increase the likelihood the novice will go to the next chapter. Our experience suggests it's best to start right off with case studies that will effectively reinforce reading the book. No student has said they missed having an intro chapter.
We've tried hard to make this book easy—readable, clear, interesting, and entertaining. But we've also tried hard to make it rigorous. We have tried not to compromise rigor in the name of popularization or simplification. Furthermore, we've tried to provide the basis for a solid conceptual mastery of the principles of behavior. As part of this effort, we've included compare-and-contrast sections where we help the student compare and contrast confusing Preface to the Instructor concepts and to make important distinctions—for example, escape versus punishment, reinforcer versus reinforcement, time out versus response cost, penalty versus extinction, and differential reinforcement versus reinforcement.
RESEARCH METHODS AND ETHICS
We introduce the issues of research methods in small units in the Intermediate Enrichment sections throughout this book. We do so for two reasons. First, we can introduce the issues with the research to which they are crucial. But more important, we can avoid combining all the methodology issues in one chapter too early in the book—an approach most students find deadly. When you start with the research methods first, students don't know what the heck they're researching and couldn't care less about the methodology.
In short, we think a pedagogical sequence differs from a logical sequence. Often they go in opposite directions. So we recommend an analog to backward chaining. Start with what interests most students—saving the world through behavior analysis. Spice it with small doses of methodology. Then have them review the whole area once we've got them irrevocably committed to our cause! Incidentally, we think much the same about the history of a discipline. Students appreciate it more at the end of a course than at the beginning. At the beginning, they could not care less about where the discipline came from, because they may not care all that much about the discipline itself. But if the course has succeeded in helping students appreciate our field, then they may become more interested in its history. In this book, we integrate a small amount of history as we go along. We included ethical issues in the intermediate enrichment sections throughout this book, as we've done with the research methodology issues. And for much the same reasons.
Spreading research methodology in small chunks throughout the book may cause a problem if you want your students to do research projects from the beginning of the semester and you feel they need to know some basic design concepts. So to reduce this problem, at the back of this book we've also provided a chapter on research methods. This will then give your students a more coherent view. Furthermore, Chapter 29, Research Methods, is divided into three main sections, the last two being the ones most relevant to actual research methods and the last two also being accessible after the students have read the first couple chapters of PB. So assigning the last two sections of Chapter 29 more or less anytime you want should work fine.
We don't get to respondent conditioning until Chapter 21, for two reasons: first, respondent conditioning is not fundamental to our treatment of operant behavior, so putting it early would break the cumulative flow of the concepts and principles. Second, we think students need a good grounding in operant procedures before they can discriminate between operant procedures and respondent procedures. It ain't easy. (Most grad students and some faculty members can't discriminate between a conditioned eliciting stimulus and a discriminative stimulus, a discrimination failure exacerbated by the common practice of calling them both antecedent stimuli.) Introducing respondent conditioning before students have a firm grounding in operant conditioning puts the students at great risk of erroneously classifying every behavior they see as respondent when it's probably operant. Students have an almost genetic tendency to respondently, reflexively, immediately say respondent conditioning or reflexive whenever confronted with a novel instance of operant behavior. This latent Pavlovianism might best be prepared for by many chapters of operant analyses, before the Pavlovianism can be unleashed and extinguished. But instructors who think otherwise can assign the first nine sections of the respondent conditioning chapter right after Chapter 2 in this book with as much ease as if the chapters were physically placed early in the book. The tenth ...
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