Operant Contingencies and the Origin of Cultures

  • Sigrid S. Glenn

Abstract

Writers from a variety of disciplines recognize that culture is composed of or depends on behavior, but is also somehow more than an unorganized collection of behavioral events. Biologist Bonner (1980) defined culture as “behavior transmitted from one individual to another by teaching and learning” (p. 17). Cultural anthropologist Harris (1964) stated, “human behavior constitutes the cultural field of inquiry” (p. 20). However, human responses “are definitely not cultural things,” (Harris, p. 22) but rather are the empirical events to which scientific operations must be applied to arrive at cultural classifications. Behavior analyst Baum (2000) stated, “culture consists of behavior andchrw(133) cultural change constitutes an evolutionary process” (p. 182).

Keywords

Cooperative Behavior Operant Behavior Operant Lineage Cultural Transmission Operant Contingency 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sigrid S. Glenn
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Behavior AnalysisUniversity of North TexasDentonUSA

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