Private events: Do they belong in a science of human behavior?

Cynthia M. Anderson, Robert P. Hawkins, Kurt A. Freeman, Joseph R. Scotti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


The role of thinking, feeling, and other private events has received a great deal of attention in mainstream psychology but has been virtually ignored in behavior analysis until recently. This paper introduces a series of papers from a symposium that explored the roles of private events in a science of human behavior. We briefly explore the role private events are assigned in several behavioral orientations. Next, we discuss several positions on how private events might be conceptualized within a behavior-analytic framework. We conclude by noting that the dearth of research and conceptualizations about private events unnecessarily limits the theoretical or conceptual understanding on which applied behavior analysts base their work. With this paper and the papers that follow, we hope to spark research, discussion, and yes, thinking, about the roles of thinking and feeling.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-10
Number of pages10
JournalBehavior Analyst
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2000
Externally publishedYes


  • Behavior analysis
  • Cognition
  • Private events

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology


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