Propositional Logic and Formal Codification of Behavioral Operations


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Behavior and Philosophy;41


Cambridge Center for Behavioral Studies

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A formal symbolic language for behavioral operations is proposed, based on propositional logic. The system describes how an experiment changes an organism's physical environment. With few exceptions, the codification system results in statements reduced to the truth-conditions of observable events. The main purpose is clarification of key concepts used in behavior analysis by describing the logic of behavioral operations. Using the system, we explain, for instance, the difference between positive and negative reinforcement and how differential reinforcement contains an extinction procedure. Use of a well-established formal language may also facilitate co-operation across disciplines as behavior analysis, biology, and economy.


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