Contingencies, the Causal Texture of the Environment, and Behavioral Dispositions

Richard L. Shull


Molar behaviorists have long recognized that behavior is affected by what. Tolman and Brunswik (1933) ca Bed "the causal texture of the environment". Translating that recognition into an effective scientific system, however, has been a difficult task. For one thing, the "causal texture" consists of complex relations among events extended over time, and so the significant effects are often hard to detect. Also, it is often not obvious how the causal texture should be classified and measured so as to permit the discovery of an integrated set of fundamental environment-behavior relationships. An important contribution of contingency theory (e.g., Sidman, 1986) is in providing an integrated taxonomy of the environment's causal texture, thus making it possible to relate behavioral effects to the causal texture in a systematic way. Some of the behavioral effects are immediately apparent, but others are not. Some advantages may result from speaking of contingencies as affecting behavioral dispositions


: contingency, causal texture of the environment, behavioral dispositions, taxonomy of contingencies

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Editor in Chief:

Dr. Carlos J. Flores-Aguirre

ISSN: 0185-4534

ISSN Electrónico: 2007-0802