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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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|

About Behaviorism, Chapter 5: Perceiving, Quote 4

“After hearing a piece of music several times, a person may hear it when it is not being played, though probably not as richly or as clearly. So far as we know, he is simply doing in the absence of the music some of the things he did in its presence.” (p. 91)
 

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By |April 19th, 2017|Skinner's Quote of the Day|Comments Off on About Behaviorism, Chapter 5: Perceiving, Quote 4|

About Behaviorism, Chapter 5: Perceiving, Quote 3

“. . . as a modern authority has pointed out, it is as difficult to explain how we see a picture in the occipital cortex of the brain as to explain how we see the outside world, which it is said to represent.” (p. 90)
 

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By |April 18th, 2017|Skinner's Quote of the Day|Comments Off on About Behaviorism, Chapter 5: Perceiving, Quote 3|

About Behaviorism, Chapter 5: Perceiving, Quote 2

“The brain is said to use data, make hypotheses, make choices, and so on, as the mind was once said to have done. In a behavioristic account it is the person who does these things.” (p. 86)
 

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By |April 17th, 2017|Skinner's Quote of the Day|Comments Off on About Behaviorism, Chapter 5: Perceiving, Quote 2|

About Behaviorism, Chapter 5: Perceiving, Quote 1

“In the traditional view, a person responds to the world around him in the sense of acting upon it . . . The opposing view—common, I believe to all versions of behaviorism—is that the initiating action is taken by the environment rather than by the perceiver.” (pp. 80-81)
 

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By |April 14th, 2017|Skinner's Quote of the Day|Comments Off on About Behaviorism, Chapter 5: Perceiving, Quote 1|

About Behaviorism, Chapter 4: Operant Behavior, Quote 16

“Happiness is a feeling, a by-product of operant reinforcement. The things which make us happy are the things which reinforce us, but it is the things, not the feelings, which must be identified and used in prediction, control, and interpretation.” (p. 78)
 

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By |April 13th, 2017|Skinner's Quote of the Day|Comments Off on About Behaviorism, Chapter 4: Operant Behavior, Quote 16|

About Behaviorism, Chapter 4: Operant Behavior, Quote 15

“All gambling systems are based on variable-ratio schedules of reinforcement, although their effects are usually attributed to feelings . . . The same variable-ratio schedule affects those who explore, prospect, invent, conduct scientific research, and compose works of art, music, or literature, and in these fields a high level of activity is usually attributed […]

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By |April 12th, 2017|Skinner's Quote of the Day|Comments Off on About Behaviorism, Chapter 4: Operant Behavior, Quote 15|

About Behaviorism, Chapter 4: Operant Behavior, Quote 14

“When the ratio of responses to reinforcements is favorable, the behavior is commonly attributed to (1) diligence, industry, or ambition, (2) determination, stubbornness, staying power, or perseverance (continuing to respond over long periods of time without results), (3) excitement or enthusiasm, or (4) dedication or compulsion.” (pp. 65-66)
 

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By |April 11th, 2017|Skinner's Quote of the Day|Comments Off on About Behaviorism, Chapter 4: Operant Behavior, Quote 14|

About Behaviorism, Chapter 4: Operant Behavior, Quote 13

“The behavior of the homesick, forlorn, lovelorn, or lonely is commonly attributed to the feelings experienced rather than to the absence of a familiar environment.” (p. 65)
 

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By |April 10th, 2017|Skinner's Quote of the Day|Comments Off on About Behaviorism, Chapter 4: Operant Behavior, Quote 13|

About Behaviorism, Chapter 4: Operant Behavior, Quote 12

“. . . a person is said to be unable to go to work because he is discouraged or depressed, although his not going, together with what he feels, is due to a lack of reinforcement—either in his work or in some other part of his life.” (p. 64)
 

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By |April 7th, 2017|Skinner's Quote of the Day|Comments Off on About Behaviorism, Chapter 4: Operant Behavior, Quote 12|

About Behaviorism, Chapter 4: Operant Behavior, Quote 11

“People can usually say what they are looking for and why they are looking in a given place, but like other species they also may not be able to do so.” (p. 63)
 

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By |April 6th, 2017|Skinner's Quote of the Day|Comments Off on About Behaviorism, Chapter 4: Operant Behavior, Quote 11|

About Behaviorism, Chapter 4: Operant Behavior, Quote 10

“Seeking or looking for something seems to have a particularly strong orientation toward the future. We learn to look for an object when we acquire behavior which commonly has the consequence of discovering it.” (p. 63)
 

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By |April 5th, 2017|Skinner's Quote of the Day|Comments Off on About Behaviorism, Chapter 4: Operant Behavior, Quote 10|

About Behaviorism, Chapter 4: Operant Behavior, Quote 9

“​Purpose” was once commonly used as a verb, as we now use “propose.”  ” I propose to go” is similar to “I intend to go.” If instead we speak of our purpose or intention in going, it is easy to suppose that the nouns refer to things.” (p. 61)
 

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By |April 4th, 2017|Skinner's Quote of the Day|Comments Off on About Behaviorism, Chapter 4: Operant Behavior, Quote 9|

About Behaviorism, Chapter 4: Operant Behavior, Quote 8

“​Possibly no charge is more often leveled against behaviorism or a science of behavior than that it cannot deal with purpose or intention. A stimulus—response formula has no answer, but operant behavior is the very field of purpose and intention.” (p. 61)
 

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By |April 3rd, 2017|Skinner's Quote of the Day|Comments Off on About Behaviorism, Chapter 4: Operant Behavior, Quote 8|

About Behaviorism, Chapter 4: Operant Behavior, Quote 7

“​The critical condition for the apparent exercise of free will is positive reinforcement as the result of which a person feels free and calls himself free and says he does as he likes or what he wants or is pleased to do.” (p. 60)
 

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By |March 31st, 2017|Skinner's Quote of the Day|Comments Off on About Behaviorism, Chapter 4: Operant Behavior, Quote 7|

About Behaviorism, Chapter 4: Operant Behavior, Quote 6

“​The conspicuousness of the causes is at issue when reflex behavior is called involuntary—one is not free to sneeze or not to sneeze; the initiating cause is the pepper. Operant behavior is called voluntary, but it is not really uncaused; the cause is simply harder to spot.” (p. 60)
 

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By |March 30th, 2017|Skinner's Quote of the Day|Comments Off on About Behaviorism, Chapter 4: Operant Behavior, Quote 6|

About Behaviorism, Chapter 4: Operant Behavior, Quote 5

“​Freedom” usually means the absence of restraint or coercion, but more comprehensively it means a lack of any prior determination: “All things that come to be, except acts of will, have causes.” (p. 59)
 

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By |March 29th, 2017|Skinner's Quote of the Day|Comments Off on About Behaviorism, Chapter 4: Operant Behavior, Quote 5|

About Behaviorism, Chapter 4: Operant Behavior, Quote 4

“​The spontaneous generation of behavior has reached the same stage as the spontaneous generation of maggots and micro organisms in Pasteur’s day. ” (p. 59)
 

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

About Behaviorism, Chapter 4: Operant Behavior, Quote 3

“The apparent lack of immediate cause in operant behavior has led to the invention of an initiating event. Behavior is said to be put into play when a person wills to act. The term has a confusing history.” (p. 59)

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By |March 27th, 2017|Skinner's Quote of the Day|Comments Off on About Behaviorism, Chapter 4: Operant Behavior, Quote 3|

About Behaviorism, Chapter 4: Operant Behavior, Quote 2

“To distinguish an operant from an elicited reflex, we say that the operant response is “emitted.” (It might be better to say simply that it appears, since emission may imply that behavior exists inside the organism and then comes out. But the word need not mean ejection; light is not in the hot filament […]

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By |March 24th, 2017|Skinner's Quote of the Day|Comments Off on About Behaviorism, Chapter 4: Operant Behavior, Quote 2|

About Behaviorism, Chapter 4: Operant Behavior, Quote 1

“The process of operant conditioning . . . is simple enough. When a bit of behavior has the kind of consequence called reinforcing, it is more likely to occur again . . . The process supplements natural selection. Important consequences of behavior which could not play a role in evolution because they were not […]

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By |March 23rd, 2017|Skinner's Quote of the Day|Comments Off on About Behaviorism, Chapter 4: Operant Behavior, Quote 1|

About Behaviorism, Chapter 3: Innate Behavior, Quote 10

“Contingencies of reinforcement have the edge with respect to prediction and control. The conditions under which a person acquires behavior are relatively accessible and can often be manipulated; the conditions under which a species acquires behavior are very nearly out of reach.” (p. 49)

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By |March 22nd, 2017|Skinner's Quote of the Day|Comments Off on About Behaviorism, Chapter 3: Innate Behavior, Quote 10|

About Behaviorism, Chapter 3: Innate Behavior, Quote 9

“The question is not whether the human species has a genetic endowment but how it is to be analyzed. It begins and remains a biological system, and the behavioristic position is that it is nothing more than that.” (p. 49)

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By |March 21st, 2017|Skinner's Quote of the Day|Comments Off on About Behaviorism, Chapter 3: Innate Behavior, Quote 9|

About Behaviorism, Chapter 3: Innate Behavior, Quote 8

“In an important sense all behavior is inherited, since the organism that behaves is the product of natural selection. Operant conditioning is as much a part of the genetic endowment as digestion or gestation.” (pp. 48-49)

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By |March 20th, 2017|Skinner's Quote of the Day|Comments Off on About Behaviorism, Chapter 3: Innate Behavior, Quote 8|

About Behaviorism, Chapter 3: Innate Behavior, Quote 7

“Universal features of language do not imply a universal innate endowment, because the contingencies of reinforcement arranged by verbal communities have universal features.” (p. 48)

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By |March 17th, 2017|Skinner's Quote of the Day|Comments Off on About Behaviorism, Chapter 3: Innate Behavior, Quote 7|

About Behaviorism, Chapter 3: Innate Behavior, Quote 6

“When we have reviewed the contingencies which generate new forms of behavior in the individual, we shall be in a better position to evaluate those which generate innate behavior in the species. Meanwhile we may note the importance of insisting upon the distinction.” (p. 45)

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By |March 16th, 2017|Skinner's Quote of the Day|Comments Off on About Behaviorism, Chapter 3: Innate Behavior, Quote 6|