Place, U. T. (1995e). Conceptual analysis and the concept of reinforcement in classical/respondent conditioning and instrumental/operant learning [Presentation given at the Annual Conference of the Experimental Analysis of Behaviour Group, University College, London, 11th April 1995].
[Abstract]Conceptual analysis is the empirical investigation of the social conventions which govern the construction of intelligible sentences in natural language. Although it has application to other aspects of language, the focus is on features that are universal across languages and on ordinary rather than technical language. In relation to the scientific study of the behaviour of living organisms, it gives us insight both into the respects in which common sense psychology serves functions which have no place in the scientific enterprise and into the way behaviour is in fact regulated, based on thousands of years of experience of how it looks from without as well from within. The way in which the distinction between classical/respondent conditioning and instrumental/operant learning is marked in the sentences of common sense psychology is discussed as a means of reconciling the different technical languages of behaviour analysis and associative learning theory.
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