COMING TO TERMS WITH MOTIVATIONIN THE BEHAVIOR-ANALYTIC LITERATURE

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Abstract

An analysis and a systematization of the behavioral phenomena and terms used to describe motivation in behavior analysis are proposed.Michael's (1982, 1993)initial definition of the concept of establishing operations is discussed. Subsequent revisions of the concept are then analyzed, especially in regard to the notion of reinforcer effectiveness, or value. Based on these analyses and on research on operant behavior more broadly, it is suggested that the label or intervening variable consequence value, defined as motivational variables that demonstrably influence the effectiveness of the consequences of behavior, allows for an elegant and parsimonious account of motivational phenomena. This account suggests directions for the analysis of phenomena defined as motivational and facilitates the systematization of studies on this topic in behavior analysis.

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