Functional contextualism and contextual behavioral science

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APA Citation: 

Biglan, A., & Hayes, S. C. (2016). Functional contextualism and contextual behavioral science. The Wiley handbook of contextual behavioral science, 37-61.

Publication Topic: 
CBS: Conceptual
Contextual Methodology and Scientific Strategy
Publication Type: 
behavioral economics, CBS, functional contextualism, organizational research, pragmatism, public health

This chapter describes functional contextualism, the philosophical foundation of the contextual behavioral science approach. It first discusses the historical context for the development of functional contextualism, beginning with the general philosophy of pragmatism or contextualism and B. F. Skinner's use of the framework in the development of behavior analysis. The chapter also discusses the implications of functional contextualism for the integration of the behavioral and biological sciences and for the study of private events. It briefly examines the implications of a functional contextualist framework for a variety of areas of the human sciences, including evolution, organizational research, public health, economics, and dissemination and implementation research. Finally, the chapter shows how functional contextualism is leading to a unique view of the role of values in human society and describes what value that might have for many areas of human sciences.