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About Behaviorism, Chapter 10: The Inner World of Motivation and Emotion, Quote 4

“To increase a person’s consciousness of the external world is simply to bring him under more sensitive control of that world as a source of stimulation.” (p. 169)
 

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About Behaviorism, Chapter 10: The Inner World of Motivation and Emotion, Quote 3

“It is often said, particularly by psychoanalysts, that behaviorism cannot deal with the unconscious. The fact is that, to begin with, it deals with nothing else. The controlling relations between behavior and genetic and environmental variables are all unconscious as long as they are not observed, and it was Freud who emphasized that they […]

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Protected: Particulars of My Life. Part I. Section 1.

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By |June 22nd, 2017|Autobiography|Enter your password to view comments.|

About Behaviorism, Chapter 10: The Inner World of Motivation and Emotion, Quote 2

“Freud’s analysis has seemed convincing because of its universality, but it is the environmental contingencies rather than the psyche which are invariant.” (p. 167)
 

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About Behaviorism, Chapter 10: The Inner World of Motivation and Emotion, Quote 1

“A self or personality is at best a repertoire of behavior imparted by an organized set of contingencies.” (p.164)
 

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About Behaviorism, Chapter 9: Knowing, Quote 10

“How much more we should know if the prevailing contingencies had been described rather than the feelings and isms generated by them.” (p. 162)
 

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About Behaviorism, Chapter 9: Knowing, Quote 9

“The facts and laws of science are descriptions of the world—that is, of prevailing contingencies of reinforcement. They make it possible for a person to act more successfully than he could learn to do in one short lifetime or ever through direct exposure to many kinds of contingencies.” (pp. 158-159)
 

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About Behaviorism, Chapter 9: Knowing, Quote 8

“It is often said that reinforcement conveys information, but this is simply to say that it makes a response not only more probable but more probable on a specific occasion.” (p. 158)
 

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About Behaviorism, Chapter 9: Knowing, Quote 7

“In a simple sense of the word, I have understood what a person says if I can repeat it correctly. In a somewhat more complex sense, I understand it if I respond appropriately.” (p. 156)
 

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About Behaviorism, Chapter 9: Knowing, Quote 6

“Perceptual responses which clarify stimuli and resolve puzzlement may automatically reinforcing. “Getting the meaning” of a difficult passage is similar.” (p. 155)
 

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About Behaviorism, Chapter 9: Knowing, Quote 5

“The West is said to have made a fetish out of the control of nature. It is certainly not difficult to point to the unhappy consequences of many advances in science, but it is not clear how they can be corrected except through a further exercise of scientific power.” (p. 154)
 

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About Behaviorism, Chapter 9: Knowing, Quote 4

“Knowledge which permits a person to describe contingencies is quite different from the knowledge identified with the behavior shaped by the contingencies. Neither form implies the other.” (p. 153)
 

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About Behaviorism, Chapter 9: Knowing, Quote 3

“It is often useful to speak of a repertoire of behavior which, like the repertoire of a musician or a company of players, is what a person or company is capable of doing, given the right circumstances.” (p. 152)    
 

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About Behaviorism, Chapter 9: Knowing, Quote 2

“Behavior exists only when it is being executed.” (p.151)        
 

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About Behaviorism, Chapter 9: Knowing, Quote 1

“We say that a newborn baby knows how to cry, suckle, and sneeze. We say that a child knows how to walk and how to ride a tricycle. The evidence is simply that the baby and child exhibit the behavior specified. Moving from verb to noun, we say that they possess knowledge, and the […]

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About Behaviorism, Chapter 8: Causes and Reasons, Quote 4

“There is no way in which a verbal description of a setting can be absolutely true . . . Absolute truth can be found, if at all, only in rules derived from rules, and here it is mere tautology.” (p. 150)
 

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About Behaviorism, Chapter 8: Causes and Reasons, Quote 3

“Certainly for thousands of years people spoke grammatically without knowing that there were rules of grammar.” (p. 141)
 

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About Behaviorism, Chapter 8: Causes and Reasons, Quote 2

“We do not need to describe contingencies of reinforcement in order to be affected by them. Lower organisms presumably do not do so, nor did the human species before it acquired verbal behavior.” (p. 141)
 

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About Behaviorism, Chapter 8: Causes and Reasons, Quote 1

“A person who is following directions, taking advice, heeding warnings, or obeying rules or laws does not behave precisely as one who has been directly exposed to the contingencies, because description of the contingencies is never complete or exact . . .” (p. 139)
 

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About Behaviorism, Chapter 7: Thinking, Quote 16

“By attempting to move human behavior into a world of nonphysical dimensions, mentalistic or cognitive psychologists have cast the basic issues in insoluble forms.” (p. 131)
 

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About Behaviorism, Chapter 7: Thinking, Quote 15

“Both the mind and the brain are not far from the ancient notion of a homunculus—an inner person who behaves in precisely the ways necessary to explain the behavior of the outer person in whom he dwells.” (p. 130)
 

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About Behaviorism, Chapter 7: Thinking, Quote 14

“It may be true that there is no structure without construction, but we must look to the constructing environment, not to a constructing mind.” (p. 129)
 

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About Behaviorism, Chapter 7: Thinking, Quote 13

“Explicit ways of making it more likely that original behavior will occur by introducing “mutations” are familiar to writers, artists, composers, mathematicians, scientists, and inventors. Either the setting or the topography of behavior may be deliberately varied.” (p. 127)
 

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By |May 29th, 2017|Skinner's Quote of the Day|Comments Off on About Behaviorism, Chapter 7: Thinking, Quote 13|

About Behaviorism, Chapter 7: Thinking, Quote 12

“. . . at first glance, there seems to be no room for chance in any completely determined system . . . Yet the biographies of writers, composers, artists, scientists, mathematicians, and inventors all reveal the importance of happy accidents in the production of original behavior.” (pp. 126-127).
 

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By |May 26th, 2017|Skinner's Quote of the Day|Comments Off on About Behaviorism, Chapter 7: Thinking, Quote 12|

About Behaviorism, Chapter 7: Thinking, Quote 11

“As accidental traits, arising from mutations, are selected by their contribution to survival, so accidental variations in behavior are selected by their reinforcing consequences.” (p.126)
 

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By |May 25th, 2017|Skinner's Quote of the Day|Comments Off on About Behaviorism, Chapter 7: Thinking, Quote 11|

About Behaviorism, Chapter 7: Thinking, Quote 10

“It is said that a person has made a choice when he has taken one of two or more seemingly possible courses of action.” (p. 124)
 

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By |May 24th, 2017|Skinner's Quote of the Day|Comments Off on About Behaviorism, Chapter 7: Thinking, Quote 10|

About Behaviorism, Chapter 7: Thinking, Quote 9

“The covert case [of problem solving], to which the term “thinking” is most likely to be applied, enjoys no special advantage beyond that of speed or confidentiality.” (p. 124)
 

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By |May 23rd, 2017|Skinner's Quote of the Day|Comments Off on About Behaviorism, Chapter 7: Thinking, Quote 9|

About Behaviorism, Chapter 7: Thinking, Quote 8

“Techniques of recall are not concerned with searching a storehouse of memory but with increasing the probability of responses.” (p. 121)
 

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By |May 22nd, 2017|Skinner's Quote of the Day|Comments Off on About Behaviorism, Chapter 7: Thinking, Quote 8|

About Behaviorism, Chapter 7: Thinking, Quote 7

“Abstracting and forming concepts are likely to be called cognitive, but they also involve contingencies of reinforcement. We do not need to suppose that an abstract entity or concept is held in the mind; a subtle and complex history of reinforcement has generated a special kind of stimulus control.” (p. 117)
 

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By |May 19th, 2017|Skinner's Quote of the Day|Comments Off on About Behaviorism, Chapter 7: Thinking, Quote 7|

About Behaviorism, Chapter 7: Thinking, Quote 6

“What is involved in attention is not a change of stimulus or of receptors but the contingencies underlying the process of discrimination . . . Discrimination is a behavioral process: the contingencies, not the mind, make discriminations. (p. 117)
 

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By |May 18th, 2017|Skinner's Quote of the Day|Comments Off on About Behaviorism, Chapter 7: Thinking, Quote 6|

About Behaviorism, Chapter 7: Thinking, Quote 5

“Covert behavior is also easily observed and by no means unimportant, and it was a mistake for methodological behaviorism and certain versions of logical positivism and structuralism to neglect it simply because it was not “objective.” It would also be a mistake not to recognize its limitations.” (p. 115)
 

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By |May 17th, 2017|Skinner's Quote of the Day|Comments Off on About Behaviorism, Chapter 7: Thinking, Quote 5|

About Behaviorism, Chapter 7: Thinking, Quote 4

“Covert behavior is almost always acquired in overt form, and no one has ever shown that the covert form achieves anything which is out of reach of the overt.” (p. 115)
 

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By |May 16th, 2017|Skinner's Quote of the Day|Comments Off on About Behaviorism, Chapter 7: Thinking, Quote 4|

About Behaviorism, Chapter 7: Thinking, Quote 3

“Covert behavior has the advantage that we can act without committing ourselves; we can revoke the behavior and try again if private consequences are not reinforcing.” (p. 114)
 

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By |May 15th, 2017|Skinner's Quote of the Day|Comments Off on About Behaviorism, Chapter 7: Thinking, Quote 3|

About Behaviorism, Chapter 7: Thinking, Quote 2

“. . . if a behavioristic interpretation of thinking is not all we should like to have, it must be remembered that mental or cognitive explanations are not explanations at all.” (p. 114)
 

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By |May 12th, 2017|Skinner's Quote of the Day|Comments Off on About Behaviorism, Chapter 7: Thinking, Quote 2|

About Behaviorism, Chapter 7: Thinking, Quote 1

“In mentalistic formulations the physical environment is moved into the mind and becomes experience. Behavior is moved into the mind as purpose, intention, ideas, and acts of will.” (p. 113)
 

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By |May 11th, 2017|Skinner's Quote of the Day|Comments Off on About Behaviorism, Chapter 7: Thinking, Quote 1|

About Behaviorism, Chapter 6: Verbal Behavior, Quote 12

“The origin of behavior is not unlike the origin of species . . . There are many behavioral processes generating “mutations,” which are then subject to the selective action of contingencies of reinforcement.” (p. 112)
 

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By |May 10th, 2017|Skinner's Quote of the Day|Comments Off on About Behaviorism, Chapter 6: Verbal Behavior, Quote 12|

About Behaviorism, Chapter 6: Verbal Behavior, Quote 11

“A child does seem to acquire a verbal repertoire at an amazing speed, but we should not overestimate the accomplishment or attribute it to invented linguistic capacities. A child may “learn to use new word” as the effect of a single reinforcement, but it learns to do nonverbal things with comparable speed.” (p. 111)
 

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By |May 9th, 2017|Skinner's Quote of the Day|Comments Off on About Behaviorism, Chapter 6: Verbal Behavior, Quote 11|

About Behaviorism, Chapter 6: Verbal Behavior, Quote 10

“The transformational rules which generate sentences acceptable to a listener may be of interest, but even so it is a mistake to suppose that verbal behavior is generated by them . . . This is a linguist’s reconstruction after the fact. (p. 110)
 

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By |May 8th, 2017|Skinner's Quote of the Day|Comments Off on About Behaviorism, Chapter 6: Verbal Behavior, Quote 10|

About Behaviorism, Chapter 6: Verbal Behavior, Quote 9

“A translation can best be defined as a verbal stimulus that has the same effect as the original (or as much of the same effect as possible) on a different verbal community.” (p. 106)
 

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By |May 5th, 2017|Skinner's Quote of the Day|Comments Off on About Behaviorism, Chapter 6: Verbal Behavior, Quote 9|

About Behaviorism, Chapter 6: Verbal Behavior, Quote 8

“A characteristic feature of verbal behavior, directly attributable to special contingencies of reinforcement is abstraction. It is the listener, not the speaker, who takes practical action with respect to the stimuli controlling a verbal response, and as a result the behavior of the speaker may come under the control of properties of a stimulus […]

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By |May 4th, 2017|Skinner's Quote of the Day|Comments Off on About Behaviorism, Chapter 6: Verbal Behavior, Quote 8|

About Behaviorism, Chapter 6: Verbal Behavior, Quote 7

“We may look for the meaning of a word in the dictionary, but dictionaries do not give meanings; at best they give other words having the same meanings.” (p. 103)
 

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By |May 3rd, 2017|Skinner's Quote of the Day|Comments Off on About Behaviorism, Chapter 6: Verbal Behavior, Quote 7|

About Behaviorism, Chapter 6: Verbal Behavior, Quote 6

“. . . meaning is not properly regarded as a property either of a response or a situation but rather of the contingencies responsible for both the topography of behavior and the control exerted by stimuli.” (pp. 100-101)
 

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By |May 2nd, 2017|Skinner's Quote of the Day|Comments Off on About Behaviorism, Chapter 6: Verbal Behavior, Quote 6|

About Behaviorism, Chapter 6: Verbal Behavior, Quote 5

“Apart from an occasional relevant audience, verbal behavior requires no environmental support. One needs a bicycle to ride a bicycle, but not to say “bicycle.” As a result, verbal behavior can occur on almost any occasion.” (p. 100)
 

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By |May 1st, 2017|Skinner's Quote of the Day|Comments Off on About Behaviorism, Chapter 6: Verbal Behavior, Quote 5|

About Behaviorism, Chapter 6: Verbal Behavior, Quote 4

“How a person speaks depends upon the practices of the verbal community of which he is a member . . . Different verbal communities shape and maintain different languages in the same speaker, who then possesses different repertoires having similar effects upon different listeners.” (p. 99)
 

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By |April 28th, 2017|Skinner's Quote of the Day|Comments Off on About Behaviorism, Chapter 6: Verbal Behavior, Quote 4|

About Behaviorism, Chapter 6: Verbal Behavior, Quote 3

“[Verbal behavior] has a special character only because it is reinforced by the effects on people—at first other people, but eventually the speaker himself. As a result, it is free of the spatial, temporal, and mechanical relations which prevail between operant behavior and nonsocial consequences.” (p. 99)
 

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By |April 27th, 2017|Skinner's Quote of the Day|Comments Off on About Behaviorism, Chapter 6: Verbal Behavior, Quote 3|

About Behaviorism, Chapter 6: Verbal Behavior, Quote 2

“The words and sentences of which a language is composed are said to be tools used to express meanings, thoughts, ideas, propositions, emotions, needs, desires, and many other things in or on the speaker’s mind. A much more productive view is that verbal behavior is behavior.” (pp. 98-99)
 

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By |April 26th, 2017|Skinner's Quote of the Day|Comments Off on About Behaviorism, Chapter 6: Verbal Behavior, Quote 2|

About Behaviorism, Chapter 6: Verbal Behavior, Quote 1

“Relatively late in its history, the human species underwent a remarkable change: its vocal musculature came under operant control. Like other species, it had up to that point displayed warning cries, threatening shouts, and other innate responses, but vocal operant behavior made a great difference because it extended the scope of the social environment.” […]

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By |April 25th, 2017|Skinner's Quote of the Day|Comments Off on About Behaviorism, Chapter 6: Verbal Behavior, Quote 1|

About Behaviorism, Chapter 5: Perceiving, Quote 7

“The thirsty man does not reach for the fantasied glass of water, but the dreamer does not know that what he is seeing is “not really there,” and he responds as fully as a person who is asleep can. (Introspective knowledge of dreaming is weak or lacking because the conditions needed for self-observation are […]

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By |April 24th, 2017|Skinner's Quote of the Day|Comments Off on About Behaviorism, Chapter 5: Perceiving, Quote 7|

About Behaviorism, Chapter 5: Perceiving, Quote 6

“There are many ways of getting a person to see when there is nothing to be seen, and they can all be analyzed as the arrangement of contingencies which strengthen perceptual behavior.” (p. 94)
 

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By |April 21st, 2017|Skinner's Quote of the Day|Comments Off on About Behaviorism, Chapter 5: Perceiving, Quote 6|

About Behaviorism, Chapter 5: Perceiving, Quote 5

“A person is changed by the contingencies of reinforcement under which he behaves; he does not store the contingencies . . . he has no “cognitive map” of the world in which he has lived. He has simply been changed in such a way that stimuli now control particular kinds of perceptual behavior.” (pp. […]

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By |April 20th, 2017|Skinner's Quote of the Day|Comments Off on About Behaviorism, Chapter 5: Perceiving, Quote 5|