Behavior is the linchpin

The Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute for Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) has requested input on a draft strategic plan for 2020-2024. NICHD supports Databrary and PLAY, and it has supported my habituation modeling work in the past. The following is a draft response my colleagues and I are working on. Dear Dr. Bianchi: Thank you for the opportunity to respond to the NICHD Strategic Plan for Fiscal Years 2020-2024.

In search of the ethogram

Psychology is in part, a science of behavior. Mental experience – thoughts and feelings – are also common targets of inquiry. I recently went looking for a systematic catalogue of behaviors that should, in theory, constitute the substance of what psychologists and other behavioral scientists study. My goal was to take that catalogue as a starting point for thinking about the relationship between information available for perception and the actions (behaviors) that this information informs.