The assumption of behavioral continuity between species and the understanding of human behavior

Ricardo Pérez-Almonacid, Telmo Eduardo Peña-Correal

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The continuity assumption in the operant tradition, that is, to consider the behavior of all species in terms of the same processes, has induced a confusion of categories that prevents the study and understanding of proper human behavior. Continuity arguments are reviewed, especially those based on scientific simplicity and phylogenetic continuity. Three counterarguments are developed, showing how the possibility of different behavioral processes among species, including the human one, is defensible, without denying that the origins of different species and of the behavior of organisms respond to the same principles. In the end, a proposal is outlined about the possibility of identifying different behavioral processes, as an analysis of behavioral organization, which would allow a more fruitful study of properly human behavior from a behavioral perspective.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)17-34
Number of pages18
JournalSuma Psicologica
StatePublished - Jan 1 2011
Externally publishedYes

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