Behavioral cusps, basic behavioral repertoires, and cumulative-hierarchical learning

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18 Scopus citations


Much behavior development is cumulative and hierarchical in that subsequent learning is dependent on prior learning. The behavior or behavioral changes that produce subsequent important behavioral changes are referred to as basic behavioral repertoires or behavioral cusps. This progression of learning is called "cumulative-hierarchical learning," and it may be an important concept for understanding much complex human behavior. Despite its potential importance, there has been little systematic study of the concept within behavior analysis or psychology in general, which limits our understanding of complex human behavior. One reason for the lack of research may be the difficulty in studying cumulative-hierarchical learning and identifying behavioral cusps. Methods to study cumulative-hierarchical learning are described.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)387-403
Number of pages17
JournalPsychological Record
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2004


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