Macrocontingencies and Institutions: A Behaviorological Analysis

Jerome D. Ulman


Macrocontingency is defined as the conjoint actions of two or more individuals under common contingency control. This unit of analysis addresses the effects of contingency relations controlling the actions of any number of individuals, concurrently or sequentially. A macrocontingency analysis at the institutional level begins by identifying the motivating condition and functional components of an institution. The components are occasional but interrelated behavioral situations (e.g., meetings) incorporating the physical settings, conjoint actions of the participants, and macrocontingencies controlling those actions. What is denoted or inferred in a macrocontingency analysis must be capable of being directly observable. An institutional macrocontingency analysis is illustrated with a report of a protest march issuing from the struggle in Brazil to reverse an unequal distribution of land.


macrocontingency, institutional analysis, language, interlocking behavioral contingencies, verbal behavior

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Published by the University of Illinois at Chicago Library

And Behaviorists for Social Responsibility