Scientific behaviorism allows for an interpretation of behavior but not an explanation of its causes. Interpretation permits a scientist to generalize from a simple learning condition to a more complex one. For example, Skinner generalized from animal studies to children and then to adults. Any science, including that of human behavior, begins with the simple and eventually evolves generalized principles that permit an interpretation of the more complex. Skinner (1978) used principles derived from laboratory studies to interpret the behavior of human beings but insisted that interpretation should not be confused with an explanation of why people behave the way they do.
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