A Program Without Practice

Document Type

Book Review

Publication Date


Published In

Contemporary Psychology


Reviews the book, Behavioral Analysis of Societies and Cultural Practices by P. A. Lamal (Ed.) (see record 1991-98426-000). The editor successfully orchestrates the work of 10 additional contributors to provide a broad overview of how behavioral analysis can benefit our understanding of large-scale organizations and societies and can help in shaping these amalgams for more adaptive functioning. On a theoretical level, the work is particularly significant as it attempts to move beyond the behavior of single organisms (the primary interest of early Skinnerians) and beyond the dyad (focal for social exchange scholars) to address the potential of behavioral analysis when applied to large social aggregates. If there is one major achievement of the collection, it is primarily conceptual. The concept of metacontingency, pervasive throughout the volume, is a significant addition to the behavioral analysis vocabulary.

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