Metacontingencies in Walden Two

Sigrid S. Glenn


I distinction is made between contingencies of reinforcement (contingent relations between a class of responses and a common consequence) and metacontingencies (contingent relations between a class of operants and a long-term cultural outcome). The fictional utopia portrayed in Walden Two is examined in terms of the kinds of metacontingencies characteristic of that culture.  It is suggested that if a culture is to approximate utopia, attention must be paid to the metacontingencies and to their supporting contingencies of reinforcement.

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