chapter  16
6 Pages

'The Experimental Analysis of Behaviour'

ByDerek Blackman

A glance at the list of references reveals that many of the reports discussed in the preceding pages were published in the Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behaviour. The general implications of advances in behavioural technology have provided a subject for much discussion within 'the experimental analysis of behaviour'. B. F. Skinner has developed the views of Watson and argued that psychology should attempt to relate observable behaviour to its consequences, and should refrain from using explanations of behaviour in terms of 'events taking place somewhere else, described in different terms and measured if at all in different dimensions'. The suggestion is that such theories or explanations of behaviour, which usually emphasise the role of unobservable processes which are assumed to lie within the organism, may deflect attention away from important controlling variables which may be identified and directly manipulated.