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Behav Anal. 2009 Spring;32(1):191-204.

Religion as schedule-induced behavior.

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1
Washington State University.

Abstract

In this article, I argue that a class of religious behaviors exists that is induced, for prepared organisms, by specific stimuli that are experienced according to a response-independent schedule. Like other schedule-induced behaviors, the members of this class serve as minimal units out of which functional behavior may arise. In this way, there exist two classes of religious behavior: nonoperant schedule-induced behaviors and operant behaviors. This dichotomy is consistent with the distinction insisted upon by religious scholars and philosophers between "graceful" and "effortful" religious behaviors. Embracing the distinction allows an explanation of many aspects of religious experience and behavior that have been overlooked or disregarded by other scientific approaches to religion.

PMID:
22478521
PMCID:
PMC2686986
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