Behaviorism - A Methodological Proposal of Explaining the Behavior

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Behaviorism must be seen as a methodological proposal of explaining the behavior of organisms from the lowest to the highest. Explaining human and nonhuman behavior by reference to scientific laws and the theories expressed of physical states, events, and entities. Because modern psychology emerged roughly in the mid-19th century, information of behaviorism was gathered in its early stages by introspection (looking at your own inner states of being; your own desires, feelings, and intentions) then linking them to the outside observable state.

Introspection is a notoriously unreliable method for gathering information for scientific theories. There are 2 problems:

1) The introspection data is private. It is impossible for someone from
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person --> determined choices --> actions --> responsible --> praised or blamed

This is a myth and the autonomous man is an illusion
We are determined, we are not free (foods that we dislike or the extra Y chromosome in criminal males - are we responsible )

If a serial killer was discovered to have an extra Y chromosome, the behaviorist would say is choices really aren’t free and he doesn’t have any control over it and there is nothing to stop or prevent him from doing so. He will act accordingly and we as citizens and judicial advocates will say he is responsible for those actions and he is justifiable to be blamed (autonomous man)

Skinner says this is an illusion. His theme would be “the elimination of the autonomous man”. All human action and events are the inevitable product of a series of prior anteceded forces that the individual has little control over.

Behaviorist’s Manifesto “We can follow the path taken by physics and biology by turning directly to the relation between behavior and the environment and neglecting supposed mediating state of mind” “We can be just like them real scientists if we do things a certain way” An attitude of scientific wannabes; they want to be taken seriously as scientists, which they are not; by changing the focus of our attention from the internal state of mind and events to the behavior which is publicly observable. The analysis will rest

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