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Marius Rietdijk - Towards Integrating Free Market Economics, Positive Reinforcement Psychology and Evolutionary Biology

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					Volume 25, Number 1: 2011



Editor’s Message                                             2   Editor
Krystyna Riley, M.A.                                             Krystyna Riley, M.A.
                                                                 Department of Psychology
                                                                 3700 Wood Hall
                                                                 Western Michigan University
OBM Network 2011 Conference: OBM Reaches out                     Kalamazoo, MI 49008-5439
to Health and Human Services                 2                   krystyna.a.riley@gmail.com
Cloyd Hyten, CPT, Ph.D.                                          OBM Network News publishes
                                                                 news, brief articles, book reviews,
                                                                 and information related to
Organizational Behavior Management as a                          Organizational Behavior
Technology                                                   3   Management (OBM) and Applied
Joseph C. Dagen, Ph.D.                                           Behavior Analysis (ABA).

                                                                 Submissions should be emailed
                                                                 to the editor and should comply
Towards Integrating Free Market Economics,                       with the style described in the
Positive Reinforcement Psychology, and                           Publication Manual of the
Evolutionary Biology                                         5   American Psychological
                                                                 Association (6th ed.). For more
Marius Rietdijk, Ph.D.
                                                                 information on submission
                                                                 guidelines, please visit
                                                                 www.obmnetwork.com
Applied Behavior Analysis in Deploying and
Managing University Online Courses in Italy                  6
                                                                 The deadline to submit articles for
Rossana Somalvico, Francesco Pozzi, Giovambattista Presti,       the next issue of OBM Network News
Ph.D. & Paolo Moderato, Ph.D.                                    is: April 30, 2011
Towards Integrating Free Market
Economics, Positive Reinforcement
Psychology, and Evolutionary
Biology
By Marius Rietdijk, Ph.D.
Email: mrietdijk@feweb.vu.nl
Europe’s current crisis indicates that communism’s
bankruptcy of Eastern Europe will be followed by an       analysis provides entrepreneurs and managers the
implosion of the socialistic welfare states in the        necessary performance management tools for
Western part. Europe lags both ‘traditional’              motivating employees in their daily working lives
American capitalism and the awakening capitalism in       when money is not enough.
Asia. Europe’s struggle with its business and political
models shows the strength of free market                  Mechanisms of evolutionary theory are variation,
economics.                                                selection, and retention. Mechanisms of
                                                          organizational behavior analysis are the same. We
Then it is not so remarkable that Skinner’s               deal with a variety of behaviors in economic life.
reinforcement theory (Fester & Skinner, 1957;             Some (desirable) behaviors are selected and
Skinner, 1938, 1953, 1981, 1988) only recently            retained by positive reinforcement; undesirable
started to come off the ground in Europe (Rietdijk,       behaviors are extinguished by ignoring them. This is
2009). Because political coercion has its fallout         no natural selection, as in Darwin’s theory, but
(Sidman, 2000), we need a freedom movement in             planned selection. Desirable performance is shaped
Europe. Freedom from state coercion. In America,          by the following protocol (Daniels, 2000; Daniels &
his science of experimental and applied behavior          Daniels, 2004; Rietdijk, 2009):
analysis that brings out the best in people has been
well established. This reinforcement theory fits well       1. Specifying results and behaviors,
with free market capitalism (Friedman, 2002; Smith,         2. Measuring key performances,
1776) and with the survival of the fittest notion           3. Analysis of causes (antecedents) and effects
during the struggle for life (Darwin, 2004).                   (consequences) of the performance,
                                                            4. Feedback of the measurements to employees,
Freedom is not an objective, but a subjective               5. Goal setting of ambitious end goals and
phenomenon. One feels free after a struggle for                attainable sub-goals, and
attaining positive reinforcement of entrepreneurial         6. Positive reinforcement of attained sub-goals in
behavior. Objective freedom is impossible because              accordance with reinforcement schedules.
our behaviors change constantly in changing
circumstances. But we feel free when our behaviors        Performance is key in a capitalistic, free market
lead to successful outcomes.                              economy. Behavior analysis, with its evolutionary
                                                          mechanisms, helps in selecting and retaining
Evolution theory is about the origin of species. Free     increased performance by positive reinforcement, at
market economics deals with the origin and                business as well as societal level, so that we feel free
stimulation of economic behavior. And behavior            and prosper.
analysis is about the origin and stimulation of
behavior in general. Free market economics protects       REFERENCES
the entrepreneur from vested political and
                                                          Daniels, A.C. (2000). Bringing out the Best in People.
economical interests. Organizational behavior
                                                                  New York: McGraw-Hill.

                                                                                                                     5
Daniels, A.C., & J. Daniels (2004). Performance
                                                           Skinner, B.F. (1938). The behavior of Organisms. New
        Management. Atlanta: Performance
                                                                   York: Appleton.
        Management Publications.
                                                           Skinner, B.F. (1953). Verbal Behavior. New York:
Darwin, C. (2004). On the Origin of Species by
                                                                   Appleton.
       Natural Selection. London: Murray.
                                                           Skinner, B.F. (1981). Selection by consequences.
Fester, C.B. & B.F. Skinner (1957). Schedules of
                                                                   Science, 213, 501-514.
        reinforcement. New York: Appleton.
                                                           Skinner, B.F. (1988, 2nd. ed.). Beyond Freedom and
Friedman, M. (2002). Capitalism and Freedom.
                                                                   Dignity. London: Penquin.
       Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
                                                           Smith, A. (1776). The Wealth of Nations. London:
Rietdijk, M.M. (2009). Organisaties Conditioneren.De
                                                                   Strahan & Cadell.
         invloed van beloning en staf op
         werkprestaties. Amsterdam: VU University          Dr. Marius Rietdijk is an Assistant Professor in
         Press (English translation: Conditioning          Economics and Business Administration at the VU
         Organizations. The influence of reward and        University in Amsterdam. He has MA’s in clinical,
         punishment on work performance under              organizational, and social psychology, and a PhD in
         review at a publisher).                           Economics and Business Administration about
                                                           applying OBM in The Netherlands. He recently
Sidman, M. (2000). Coercion and its fallout. Boston:
                                                           founded the Aubrey Daniels Research Institute for
       Authors Cooperative.
                                                           Behavior Analysis (ADRIBA) at his university.



Applied Behavior Analysis in Deploying and
Managing University Online Courses in Italy
By Rossana Somalvico, Francesco Pozzi, Giovambattista
Presti, Ph.D., & Paolo Moderato, Ph.D.
Institute of Behavior, Consumer, Communication IULM
University, Milan - IESCUM

INTRODUCTION

The spread of the Internet has allowed the development of efficient systems for distance learning at different
levels of education. Students at University in different countries can benefit from e-learning courses,
personalize their study time, and organize their communication with peers and professors even when they
are far from university. Altbach (2004) states that, “Worldwide, it is estimated that about 2 million students
are studying outside their home country and this figure is projected to increase to 8 million by 2025”. The
development of different technologies allows the organization of e-learning courses and blended learning
courses, where some content are taught in the traditional classroom and some content are taught in online
classes. Blended learning courses and online courses that support traditional classes allow great flexibility in
the organization of the course, ensure communication with professors and with peers, and allow the
organization of discussion or activities between students.
Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland



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