B-mod, Testing for irrelevance

[From Rick Marken (951213.1500)]

Bruce Abbott (951213.1730 EST) --

You think behavior modification is all about using force to get people to
behave as the behavior analyst wishes, but you are dead wrong about that.

If people actually did behavior modification the way it is described in
textbooks -- making access to reinforcers contingent on producing a
particular behavior -- then, yes, it would be all about using force. In fact,
behavior modification practitioners are generally not foolish enough to
practice what they preach.

This business of finding some crucial experiment to distinguish between PCT
and reinforcement theory is your crusade, not mine, and I'll thank you to
leave me out of it.

I'm not looking for a _crucial_ experiment; just one where reinforcement and
control theory make different predictions. I don't know that it's a crusade;
I'm happy to continue doing experiments showing that PCT makes the right
predictions; but then how do you attract the attention of people who think
that reinforcment theory makes the right predictions?

I don't want to prove that reinforcement theory is wrong, I want to explain
behavior. If I do that well enough, reinforcement theory will simply become
irrelevant.

Ok. That's a good approach. Perhaps we could do some experiments to see
whether PCT or reinforcement theory is _irrelevant_ to behavior?

Best

Rick