Metacontingencies, Organizations, and Cultural Change

BACB CEUs: 1.5

Duration: 85 minutes

CE Instructor: Todd A. Ward, PhD, BCBA-D, President of bSci21Media, LLC

Abstract: Dr. Ward sits down with Angela Cathey to discuss the origins and evolution of the metacontingency.  They discuss its origins in the 1980s as a bridge to cultural anthropology, its reconceptualization in 2004 by Sigrid Glenn, and its further refinements by Houmanfar and colleagues in later years.  This conversation walks through the basic elements of the metacontingency, how they differ from the macrocontingency, and discuss applications to complex behavioral phenomena in organizations and larger society.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Participants will be able to define an interlocked behavioral contingency.  
  2. Participants will be able to define a macrocontingency and describe how it differs from the metacontingency.  
  3. Participants will be able to discuss how the meta- and macrocontingeny interacts in complex organizational and cultural phenomena.

Suggested readings on the metacontingency:

Glenn, S. S. (1988). Contingencies and metacontingencies: Toward a synthesis of behavior analysis and cultural materialism.  The Behavior Analyst, 11, 161-179.

Glenn, S. S. (2004). Individual behavior, culture, and social change.  The Behavior Analyst, 27, 133-151.

Glenn, S. S., & Malott, M. E. (2004).  Complexity and selection: Implications for organizational change.  Behavior and Social Issues, 13, 89-106.

Houmanfar, R., Rodrigues, N. J., and Ward, T. A. (2010).  Emergence and metacontingency: Points of contact and departure.  Behavior and Social Issues, 19, 78-103.

This course has four lessons, followed by a quiz.

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