Date of Award
Master of Arts
Dr. John Michael
Dr. Dale Brethower
Dr. David Lyon
Masters Thesis-Open Access
A functional analysis of behavior requires a monopoly of controlling variables. Where contingency-control is mutual, i.e., where there is mutual shaping of shaping, functional analysis of contingency control is impossible. Weingarten and Mechner's notion of 'dependent-contingency* analysis restores some sense here, but not enough to salvage grandiose schemes for monopolistically controlled experimental cultures.
Utopian behaviorists do not realize the scope of functions performed by markets in the human environment. Prediction and control of a dependent-variable culture requires prior elimination of entrepreneurship, (black) markets, and the far-reaching division of labor that is provided only by market coordination. Under such a system, aversive control is inevitable and the high standards of living and capacity for large populations in an industrial order must be foregone.
Skinner, a heterogeneous mixture of scientific and socialist repertoires, has a theory of cultural control that generates conclusions opposite from those of this, nevertheless quasi-Skinnerian, analysis.
Eastman, "Reinforcement Psychology and the Market Environment" (1979). Master's Theses. 1960.