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THE CONCEPT OF MEANING FROM BEHAVIOR ANALYSIS AND OTHER PERSPECTIVES.

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Author(s): BLANCA PATRICIA BALLESTEROS DE VALDERRAMA

Journal: Universitas psychologica
ISSN 1657-9267

Volume: 4;
Issue: 2;
Start page: 231;
Date: 2005;
Original page

Keywords: Meaning | symbolic behaviour | psychological function | practical significance | verbal community

ABSTRACT
This article presents crucial points related to the concept of meaning trying to emphasize some convergences betweenbehavior analysis, other behavioral perspectives, like Staats’ and Ribes-Iñesta’s, and postures outside behaviorism,specially those made by J. Bruner and other representatives of constructivism and constructionism. DeGrandpre(2000) presented some ways how behaviorism can contribute to the “science of meaning” and the “psychology ofpractical significance”; his suggestions are complemented and analyzed including other representative authors andtheir approaches to meaning as a concept that has been controversial in behavioral and social sciences, inside andoutside psychology. The arguments presented in this paper are related to a study of the meanings of peace in which theauthor participated as a co-investigator, with psychologists from different theoretical perspectives. Convergences areanalyzed around concepts like symbolic behavior, psychological function, verbal community, social convention, betweenothers. When reinforcement is formulated as a relational construct, meaning has to be taken also as a relational concept.It is concluded that there are more congruencies than differences between authors from diverse perspectives, especiallyupon the relative/contextual and dialectical character of meaning.
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