Revista Latinoamericana de Psicología
Print version ISSN 0120-0534
ORTEGA, LEONARDO A. EVOLUTIONARY PARALLELS IN THE STUDY OF BEHAVIOR: CONSIDERATIONS AROUND THE CAUSAL MODE PROBLEM. rev.latinoam.psicol. [online]. 2006, vol.38, n.1, pp. 103-118. ISSN 0120-0534.
The convergence of different philosophical and scientific positions is the basis of the causal explanation of behavior analysis, and the complexity of that explanation is not always obvious. Given that evolutionary biology is one of the positions, in this article I analyze its influence on the notion of selection by consequences of Skinner; this notion was proposed subsequently as the only causal mode of behavior. An analysis of the historical antecedents and posterior discussions of the theme suggests that behavioral variation is an alternative causal mode of behavior, and its inclusion in behavior analysis is necessary. The purpose of the present paper is to support, from the analysis of analogies between evolution and behavior, the necessity of considering different causal modes in the understanding of behavior; particularly, I propose to amplify the explanations centered in remote causes by incorporating proximal causes of behavior. Finally, a biological interpretation of behavior is emphasized.
Keywords : causal mode; behavior; evolution; selection; variation.