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Temas em Psicologia

versão impressa ISSN 1413-389X


MARQUES, Natália Santos  e  BENVENUTI, Marcelo Frota Lobato. The Study of superstition in behavioral sciences: discussing experimental arrangements and theoretical assumptions. Temas psicol. [online]. 2017, vol.25, n.3, pp. 1397-1409. ISSN 1413-389X.

Superstition has been analyzed in behavioral sciences through the use of several terms (e.g., superstition, superstitious behavior, superstitious rules, and superstitious beliefs). This paper argues that the interpretation of the results of studies on superstition depend on: a) the experimental arrangements that are used to study this subject, b) what each of these arrangements enable us to conclude about behavioral relations, and c) assumptions about the role that is attributed to verbal behavior during the construction of superstitions. The role that is attributed to verbal behavior and the experimental arrangements that are chosen are related to underlying concepts of the effects of environmental variables on the control of behavior, namely whether these variables have a direct or indirect (mediational) effect over behavior. Based on these discussions, an alternative course of action is to emphasize existing functional relations between variables as a direct contingency effect, regardless of whether these variables or effects are verbal or nonverbal..

Palavras-chave : experimental psychology; superstition; superstitious behavior; verbal behavior; contingency analysis.

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