Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Dr. Carl Greenberg

Second Advisor

Dr. Maurice Connor

Third Advisor

Dr. Dennis Dossett

Fourth Advisor

Dr. John Newton


"Psychology has been so busy selecting from, imposing upon, and rearranging the behavior of its subjects that it has until very recently neglected to note behavior's clear structure whe n it is not molested by i tests, experiments, questionnaires, and interviews" (Barker, 1963, p. 2 4). This relatively lucid scrutinization of behavior has been the major concern of what is referred to as behavior setting or undermanning theory. The original theory was derived from Barker (1960) and his extensive observations of the behavior settings within two towns. According to Barker (1968), a behavior setting is an ecobehavioral unit which is characterized by regularly occurring behavior patterns coordinated with the characteristics of the physical environment and occurring at a specifiable place and time. Behavior settings entail such places and activities as piano lessons, baseball games, church services, and club meetings. Close inspection of these settings reveals that each fulfills the definition of a behavior setting. For instance, a baseball game occurs at a specified time, only within the confines of a baseball park. It has regularly occurring activities such as running, throwing, and selling peanuts. In addition, these activities are coordinated with the location of the playing field, seats, and refreshment stand.


A Thesis Presented to the Department of Psychology and the Faculty of the Graduate College University of Nebraska In Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree Master of Arts University of Nebraska at Omaha. Copyright David Willis Arnold March, 1979