Behavioral Momentum

Behavioral momentum is a theory in quantitative analysis of behavior and is a comparative metaphor based on physical momentum. It describes the general relation between resistance to change (persistence of behavior) and the rate of reinforcement obtained in a given situation.

B.F. Skinner (1938) proposed that all behavior is based on the fundamental unit of behavior termed the discriminated operant. The discriminated operant, also known as the three-term contingency, is broken down into three necessary components: an antecedent discriminative-stimulus context, a response, and a reinforcing or punishing consequence. Responding occurs in the presence of the stimulus because responding previously has resulted in a consequence in its presence.

Read more about Behavioral Momentum:  Resistance To Change, Preference and Resistance To Change

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John Anthony Nevin - Behavioral Momentum References
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Behavioral Momentum - Preference and Resistance To Change
... to disruption across stimulus contexts is analogous to the inertial mass of a moving object, behavioral momentum theory also suggests that preference in concurrent-chains procedures for one stimulus context over ... Moreover, behavioral momentum theory posits that preference provides a measure of the relative conditioned-reinforcing value of the two terminal-link ... construct termed response strength, conditioned reinforcement value, or more generally, behavioral mass of discriminated operant behavior (see Nevin Grace, 2000) ...