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Geographers study physical environments, human behavior that changes physical environments, and resulting …


Biology Articles » Psychobiology » Initiating An Affair: Human Geography And Behavior Analysis » Concluding thoughts

Concluding thoughts
- Initiating An Affair: Human Geography And Behavior Analysis

As this account suggests, human geographers have barely engaged with behavior analysis. References to Skinner are few and the specific concepts and principles of behavior analysis have not been discussed. In retrospect, it is evident that the positivistically inclined spatial analytic movement of the 1960s was a missed opportunity. The past thirty years are characterized by human geographic excursions into a variety of primarily subjectivist approaches—exceptions to this generalization are the references to naturalism and the habitat, prospect-refuge, and Geltung concepts. Accordingly, at this time it appears there is only limited prospect for a behavior analytically informed human geography.

This limited prospect might be improved if two things happen. Behavior analysts might fruitfully investigate the human geographic literature and begin to think in terms of landscapes as they are related to behavior, specifically the behavior of individuals as members of groups. In such investigations there is a need for behavior analysts to seek to address a wider audience of social scientists through non-specialist journals and through the use of more accessible language.

But the principal onus is on human geographers to apply the concepts and principles of behavior analysis in their studies. A subsequent paper aims to develop this claim through identifying means by which human geographers might begin to apply some concepts and principles of behavior analysis, specifically the concept of rule-governed behavior. The context for a proposed second paper is a focus on group identities, such as national, ethnic, and religious identities, and on the landscapes these groups occupy, value, and change. Rather than yet another brief encounter, the time is ripe for a full-blooded affair. Both human geography and behavior analysis deserves no less.


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