New solutions to global warming will occur through 50 years of advancement in behaviorism, according to a SUNY Canton faculty member.
Professor Stephen F. Ledoux, Ph.D., recently had an article published in the centenary edition of American Scientist, the journal of Sigma Xi, the Scientific Research Society. Ledoux’s work, “Behaviorism at 100,” was featured in the January-February 2012 issue alongside a republished article from famous academic scholar B.F. Skinner, who was among the first to recognize behaviorism as its own natural science 50 years ago.
Ledoux noted the editor of the magazine waited to publish his work so it could be included in the 100th volume of the publication and provide a historical context for new readers.
“My article describes some aspects of Skinner’s behaviorism but also touches on the gradual emergence of the independent natural science of behavior, now called behaviorology,” Ledoux said. “In 1987, behaviorology became a recognized independent discipline in the natural sciences. The work I’ve done chronicles some progress made since Skinner’s “Behaviorism at 50” article appeared in 1963 as well as a range of benefits that come from these developments.”
Behaviorism influences many natural science fields, including environmental issues.
“Natural scientists are working to solve problems like global warming within the limited time frame available before we must experience its worst effects,” Ledoux said. “In that process, scientists note that solutions require changes in human behavior, yet they have lacked definitive access to a natural science of behavior. We now have that, which will be increasingly valuable for solving local and global problems.”
Ledoux is in his 30th year teaching at SUNY Canton. He has taught behaviorology in Australia, China and at the College. Although Ledoux’s research and published article concern another discipline, he is a member of the team teaching in the brand new applied psychology major, which is now accepting applicants for the 2012 semester.
He has authored several books and edited various behaviorism texts, including Lawrence Fraley’s General Behaviorology: The Natural Science of Human Behavior. Ledoux was elected to membership in the Clarkson University chapter of Sigma Xi in 1985. He received his Ph.D. in the experimental analysis of behavior from Western Michigan University in 1982 and earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from California State University, Sacramento.
American Scientist is a bimonthly science and technology magazine that is among the most widely distributed natural science journals in the country. The current issue features submissions from academics at Columbia University, Duke University, Princeton University, Brown University, Stanford University, and Harvard University, among others.
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