Where is the love? Contextual behavioral science and behavior analysis

Jonathan W. Kanter, Gareth Holman, Kelly G. Wilson

This article explores some tensions between contextual behavioral science (CBS) and radical behaviorism or behavior analysis (BA), particularly with respect to the study of emotion. We contrast Darrow and Follette׳s (2014) discussion of alexithymia from a radical behavioral perspective, which we view as representing a traditional behavior analytic approach, with a CBS approach, as we understand it. As a convenient anchor for our discussion, we discuss how CBS and BA might view the term “love.” We present suggestions for how “love” may be used as a middle-level term in a CBS approach, and why usage of such middle-level terms is important to the mission of CBS to create a science more adequate to the challenges of the human condition.

This article is restricted to ACBS members. Please join or login with your ACBS account.