Behavioral Systems Methodology: Investigating Continuity and Organization in Developmental Interactions
This chapter describes major changes in how scientists have approached their subject matter. It addresses major orienting assumptions following from the integrated-field and system perspective that guide behavioral systems methodology, an attempt to meet the unique methodological guidelines of the new perspective. The chapter analyses the major components of behavioral systems methodology. Developmental interactionism calls for a methodology that addresses intricate and continuous interchanges between organism and environment. The methodological implications of developmental interactionism and a system approach to behavioral organization, behavioral systems methodology is sensitive to intricate organism–environment interactions, the continuity of organism–environment interactions, and the interactional context or setting. Behavioral systems methodology has evolved to where its applications demonstrate unique contributions of the methodology to behavioral research. The study of social coupling between two killer whales just cited also offers insight into applications of behavioral systems methodology to developmental issues. The chapter concludes with overviews aspects of a few descriptive analyses that behavioral systems methodology yields.