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Behavior and Social Issues

, Volume 8, Issue 2, pp 195–217 | Cite as

Toward a More Complete Science of Human Behavior: Behaviorology Plus Institutional Economics

  • Jerome D. UlmanEmail author
Article

Abstract

In this essay, I explore what economic science in partnership with behaviorological science might offer in constructing a more complete science of human behavior. My focus is on institutional economists, a community of heterodox economists who have an evolutionary understanding of culture and thus a close affinity to the behaviorological view of culture. I contrast mainstream (neoclassical) economics with institutional economics, provide an overview of the latter, and suggest some topics of mutual interest: namely, the instrumental-ceremonial dichotomy, the analysis of power relations, methodological individualism, and the definition of institution augmented with the concept of macrocontingency. I conclude with a call for the cross-disciplinary collaboration of institutional economists, cultural materialists, critical Marxists, radical behaviorists, and other evolutionary/materialistic behavioral scientists.

Key words

behaviorology cultural materialism institutional economics macrocontingency Marxism radical behaviorism Skinner Veblen 

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Copyright information

© Cambridge Center for Behavioral Studies 1998

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Special EducationBall State UniversityMuncieUSA

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