Culture and contingencies: Molar insights for the metacontingency enterprise

Will Fleming, José G. Ardila-Sánchez, Linda J. Hayes


Behavior scientists working within the metacontingency enterprise have constructed a robust line of investigatory procedures, methods, and analyses primarily built on theoretical perspectives promoted by Sigrid Glenn and B. F. Skinner. The unit of analysis in metacontingency studies is the “culturant”, a term referring to interlocking behavioral contingencies and aggregate products seen as an inseparable unit selected by selecting events or conditions. We argue that the metacontingency may be considered a class of molar contingencies insofar as selecting events may be considered to have reinforcing properties (i.e., they constitute a pattern of events that organizes correlated patterns of operant events through a contingency). The purpose of this paper is to present a molar reconceptualization of the metacontingency model in terms of coordinated operant contingencies and, in doing so, provide a constructive appreciation of how a molar framework is a potentially important addition to understanding cultural events for the metacontingency enterprise. Using chess games as an ongoing example, affordances of a molar framework will be identified and ways of advancing cultural research in behavior analysis will be described.

Full Text:



Editor in Chief:

Dr. Carlos J. Flores-Aguirre

ISSN: 0185-4534

ISSN Electrónico: 2007-0802