Behavior and Social Issues

, Volume 5, Issue 1, pp 35–44 | Cite as

Metabehaviors as Discriminative Stimuli for Planned Cultural Evolution

  • V. Thomas Mawhinney


The analysis of cultural designs is a prerequisite to successful planned cultural evolution. Essential to this complex goal is the identification of appropriate dependent measures of aggregate population behavior (metabehaviors). Rate of change trends among metabehavioral indicators are suggested as measures of a culture’s behavioral viability. Criticisms and advantages of such data are identified and discussed. It is argued that such measures are requisite to the evaluation of cultural baseline states and the effects of various cultural changes which may occur fortuitously or through planned change. Recent metabehavioral trends appear to reflect a decline in the viability of the United States.


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Copyright information

© Association for Behavior Analysis International 1995

Authors and Affiliations

  • V. Thomas Mawhinney
    • 1
  1. 1.Psychology DepartmentIndiana University South BendSouth BendUSA

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