The ecological approach and operant psychology share a good deal more than mere disenchantment with the status quo. Both insist that behavior presents a primary datum for psychology which is not to be treated as a mere symptom of underlying structures of either the cognitive or physiological kind. They recognize that the description of behavior is nevertheless difficult, and they promote a molar and functional classification of behavior rather than muscle-twitch psychology or classical reflexology. In rejecting the S-R scheme, however, they insist that behavior is nonetheless subject to lawful description and that these laws refer to an irreducible organism-environment relationship. Finally, they each have special contributions to make towards a proper psychology of cognition-a psychology, that is, concerned with truly mediated modes of behavior. (Costall, 1984, p. 114).I'm intrigued by the comment that behavior presents a primary datum for psychology which is not to be treated as a mere symptom of underlying structures of the cognitive kind. I guess I do think that behavior is a product of, among other things, cognitive processes, but then again I am not sure what he alternative is. Is it that there are no cognitive processes; instead there is cognitive behavior which is just a type of behavior?
I've recently had my suspicions that, e.g. Gibson and some of the EC folks just don't have the picture of the cognition/behavior relation that I do, but I don't know what the alternative is. I just don't have the background on what behaviorists or EPists have said about this kind of thing.
Costall, A. (1984). Are theories of perception necessary? A review of Gibson's The Ecological Approach to Visual Perception. Journal of the experimental analysis of behavior, 41(1), 109.