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This is the question. The answer has to be from the the chapter I have provided. The answer has to be paraphrased.

Please elaborate on how the relation between ordinary language and science require a special consideration in behavioral science? Your answer should include thoughtful comments related to (a) the problems associated with using ordinary language in the scientific analysis of behavior including examples mentioned in the lecture and the reading (b) the four fallacies with examples, and (c) the proposed solutions in relation these problems.]Screen Shot 2020-08-03 at 6.45.59 PM.pngScreen Shot 2020-08-03 at 6.45.31 PM.pngScreen Shot 2020-08-03 at 6.45.09 PM.pngScreen Shot 2020-08-03 at 6.44.33 PM.pngScreen Shot 2020-08-03 at 6.44.13 PM.pngScreen Shot 2020-08-03 at 6.43.49 PM.pngScreen Shot 2020-08-03 at 6.43.20 PM.pngScreen Shot 2020-08-03 at 6.42.56 PM.pngScreen Shot 2020-08-03 at 6.42.32 PM.pngScreen Shot 2020-08-03 at 6.41.26 PM.pngScreen Shot 2020-08-03 at 6.40.32 PM.png

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Chapter 1
relations between behavior and the context in which it occurs, provides
Chapter 2
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practical means for analyzing and changing behavior. Examining science
as it is practiced in psychology demonstrates that the relational frame-
work of radical behaviorism offers possibilities for change unmatched by
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the mechanistic approach.
Ordinary Language and Science
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The relation between ordinary language and science requires special
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consideration in the behavioral sciences. Scientific disciplines identify a
subject matter and describe relations and processes occurring among its
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constituents with their own language and terminology. Part of the work
of scientists is to identify as precisely as possible the meaning of terms in
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order to facilitate communication within their discipline. Nature is
divided and classified according to some system or order and studied
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under different headings: physics, chemistry, biology, mechanics, as-
tronomy, and so on. In some fields, scientific language consists partly of
a symbol system such as mathematics or the element and compound
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symbols of chemistry. In other fields, scientific terms are derived from
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our everyday language, with words carefully defined to avoid confusions
about the part of nature or kind of process being discussed.
Much of everyday language is already considered to be descriptive of
behavior. We come to the science of behavior already shaped by our
verbal community to describe behavior in ordinary language terms that
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often lack the accuracy of definition characteristic of a scientific account.
Ordinary verbal behavior precedes scientific verbal behavior, and ordi-
nary language terms provide ready-made conceptual classifications that
guide and direct the scientific investigation of behavior. Our everyday
language contains prescientific assumptions and classifications that may
or may not be useful for a scientific analysis of behavior.
An important part of the philosophy of science that is radical behav-
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iorism is concerned with the relation between ordinary language terms
forms & agreements
that are considered to be descriptive of behavior and the way those terms
influence the scientific study of behavior. Radical behaviorists view as
- +
language terms uncritically,
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Chapter 2
Ordinary Language and Science
arguing that those terms themselves can influence the behavior of
they feel joyful, but which topography best indicates the feeling of joy?
And is that feeling constituted in the same way for both people? How is
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scientists and may bring with them unnecessary problems. Words have
been shown to exert a controlling influence on behavior in other fields
a researcher to handle two such dissimilar performances described by the
of psychology, notably in the field of eyewitness testimony where, for
same word?
example, Loftus and Palmer (1974) and Loftus et al. (1978) demon-
A third problem for the scientist trying to study emotion lies in
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strated that differential wording of questions about an incident often
differential responses to the same situation. One person may respond to
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results in dissimilar verbal reports from subjects. People will recall
an experimental setup in a quite differentway than another, and the same
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incidents differently depending on subtle differences in the wording of
is true of everyday settings. Following a minor car accident, one person
questions about the incident. Analysis of the relation between ordinary
jumps out of a car and shouts angrily at the other driver, while another
calmly notes the details of the accident, expresses concern for the other
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language and science is an important part of radical behaviorism's overall
philosophy of science. Once explicated, this analysis demonstrates that
driver, and concludes philosophically that these things simply happen
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the behavior of the scientist is not exempt from controlling influences
sometimes.
embedded within the larger culture. Scientists do not come to the study
How does the scientist cope with the facts that a) definitions cannot be
of behavior free from the assumptions and presuppositions of the
agreed upon, b) when two people apply the same word to their feelings
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surrounding culture but are in part guided by its conceptual classifica-
they are at the same time exhibiting remarkably dissimilar behavior, and
c) in both experimental and everyday settings, people respond differently
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tions, some of which are to be found in the words we ordinarily use to
describe behavior and in the grammatical patterns of ordinary language.
to the same situation? This is not to suggest that nothing useful or
A simple illustration of the way confusions can arise when ordinary
important has emerged from attempts to study emotion, but it illustrates
Document Language:
language terms are taken into behavioral science is found in the field of
difficulties that can be encountered when ordinary language words are
English (U.S.) Change
psychology dealing with the language of emotion. We describe ourselves
taken into the realm of science with the assumption that they refer to
or others in everyday situations as happy, disappointed, angry, guilt-
entities that can be defined, categorized or quantified.
ridden, surprised, aggressive, and so on, but when we try to define such
From its earliest days, radical behaviorism has dedicated itself to
terms for the purpose of scientific study we run into at least three
precision in terminology. Part of Skinner's doctoral dissertation exam-
problems.
ined the development of the concept of the reflex and demonstrated that
in the course of its development it had acquired implications not given
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First, it is virtually impossible to agree on a definition of these kinds of
words. What are we describing when we use the words happy, disap
by data (for example, that behavior can be divided broadly into voluntary
pointed, angry, and so on? Some measure of physiological arousal? Or is
or involuntary classes and that reflexes are members of the involuntary
an emotion an experience that accompanies the arousal? Textbooks
class). At the same time, Skinner suggested to his Harvard department
continue to juxtapose the major theories of James/Lange and Cannon/
that he might more profitably spend his time carrying out "an opera-
Bard, which do not agree on whether emotion is definable as what we do
tional analysis of half-a-dozen key terms from subjective psychology"
at the time we say we feel joy or sorrow or anger, or whether it should be
(Skinner, 1945/1972b, p. 381) than preparing for a doctoral examina-
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thought of as an accompaniment to our behavior at that time.
tion. His first major work, The Behavior of Organisms (Skinner, 1938),
forms & agreements
A second problem is topographical. One person smiles, laughs, and
clearly defines the word behavior for the purpose of his experimental
dances round the room after hearing good news, while another in similar
inquiries and elaborates some of the problems inherent in carrying over
circumstances sits quietly in a corner, hands folded, smiling. Both say
terms from ordinary language into the scientific domain. The Operational
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Chapter 2
Ordinary Language and Science
Analysis of Psychological Terms (Skinner, 1945/1972b) is entirely con-
cerned with this same problem and when he asked in another paper, Are
their daily lives. But these words cannot be used in their science!"
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theories of learning necessary? (1950/1972b), he was careful to specify
(Skinner, 1989, p. 18).
what was meant by the word, theory, for the purpose of that argument.
It is clear that radical behaviorists take a keen interest in the relation
In Schedules of Reinforcement (1957), Ferster and Skinner clarified key
between ordinary language and science. But their concerns are not
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terms in behavior analysis by providing a useful glossary.
confined to definitions and proper usage. Definitions may turn out to be
the least of the problems inherent in taking ordinary language into
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Other workers in the field are equally concerned with terminological
precision. A. C. Catania's Learning, now in its third edition (1992),
science. The use of key terms can often be stipulated for the purpose of
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carries etymological notes at the beginning of each chapter. In Catania's
research or philosophical discussion, as when Skinner clearly defined his
view: "Consistencies in vocabulary are essential to technical treatments,
use of the terms behavior and theory for the purpose of his argument.
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but the language must also grow and adapt to new findings and new
Other problems in the relation between ordinary language and science
perspectives. We must use our language of behavior with care, but
are obscured by the ubiquity of language and buried so deeply within
Mecca Chie...iorism.pdf X
perhaps we will be less likely to become rigid about it if we know
linguistic practices that only the most careful analysis can bring them to
something of its origins" (Catania, 1992, p. xiv). The Behavior Analyst
light. Radical behaviorists are concerned with the controlling influence
of several features of ordinary language, features that guide the behavior
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publishes articles of general interest in the field of radical behaviorism
and regularly contains a section, On Terms, wherein contributors
of scientists toward views of their subject matter and toward forms of
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attempt to clarify contexts appropriate to the use of key terms. Some
interpretation that are at odds with a scientific analysis. The remainder
examples are: When we Speak of Knowing (Hineline, 1983); Stimulus
of this chapter will discuss three features of ordinary language that are
Control Terminology (Deitz & Mallone, 1985); A Rule for the Use of the
problematic for scientific psychology.
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Term "Rule Governed Behavior" (Brownstein & Shull, 1985); Observer
The first problem is that along with ordinary language, we inherit
English (U.S.) Change
Drift: A Drifting Definition (Smith, 1986); and Misdescribing the Carneau:
conceptual systems involving ways of thinking about people and their
A Perplexing Plurality (Gleeson & Lattal, 1987).
behavior that are not based on scientific analysis and that encourage
Skinner (1985) examined the Report of the Research Briefing Panel on
certain kinds of questions and theoretical interpretations of behavior not
Cognitive Science and Artificial Intelligence (Estes et al., 1983) and found
necessitated by scientific data. The second problem is inherent in the
that report lacking in definitions of key terms such as intelligence, mind,
structure of Indo-European languages, specifically in the syntactic
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mental operations, imagination, reasoning, induction, understanding,
requirement of providing agents for actions. The third problem concerns
thinking, and the like. He concluded by accusing cognitive scientists of
he practice of accounting for action in different directional modes
"relaxing standards of definition and logical thinking and releasing a
(either from person to behavior or from environment to behavior)
flood of speculation characteristic of metaphysics, literature, and daily
depending on whether the account is of our own or of someone else's
intercourse, perhaps suitable enough for such purposes but inimical to
behavior, and depending on the extent to which people respond indi-
science" (Skinner, 1985, p. 300). A later paper came to the same
vidually or collectively to environmental events. This problem specifi
cally affects radical behaviorists because their accounts are structured in
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conclusion: that the words people use in describing how they feel or what
they are thinking "are part of a living language that can be used without
a directional mode that violates cultural practice. It will become clear that
forms & agreements
embarrassment by cognitive psychologists and behavior analysts alike in
these three features of ordinary language exert a powerful controlling
influence on the behavior of scientists.
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Chapter 2
Ordinary Language and Science
Learning in language. We inherit a conceptual system also in the
language of learning, especially in the kinds of questions that are typically
come to behave in various ways. The behavior is not in them at any time.
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asked about learning. If the definition of learning is strictly maintained
We say that it is emitted, but only as light is emitted from a hot filament;
as "any relatively permanent change in behavior," we are likely to ask
there is no light in the filament" (Skinner, 1985, p. 295).
questions about changes in behavior. It is, however, more customary to
The language of learning and its metaphor of storage and retrieval
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ask, "What has this person learned?" than it is to ask, "What can or does
directs scientific psychology in a particular way when adopted without
critical examination. Once examined, however, and perhaps an alterna-
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this person now do?" The conceptual system suffusing the language of
tive metaphor substituted, a new language can direct inquiry to behav-
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learning directs us away from changes in behavior toward the thing
learned, and the thing learned becomes an entity possessed by the
ioral processes that can be submitted to scientific analysis: "How
learner. This way of talking or asking questions about learning is
organisms are changed by contingencies of reinforcement is the field of
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grounded in the metaphor of storage and retrieval, a metaphor that
a behavioral analysis. What is happening inside is a question to be
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informs the cognitive or information processing traditions in psychol-
answered by neurology, with its appropriate instruments and methods"
ogy: "Processing information is, of course, something people have done
Skinner, 1985, p. 295).
for thousands of years. They have made records of things that happen-
on clay tiles, papyrus, vellum, paper, magnetic tapes, and now silicon
Language in language. We inherit a conceptual system also in the
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chips-and they have stored them, retrieved them, and responded to
language of language, in the way we ordinarily talk about language. Like
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them again more or less as they responded to the originals. Cognitive
mind, the word, language, seems to elude both definition and reference
scientists have taken this practice as a model or metaphor" (Skinner,
when taken out of ordinary usage for the purpose of scientific analysis.
Vicki Lee (1981), for example, noted that despite the familiarity of the
Document Language:
1985, p. 292). In this tradition, the organism is conceptualized as a
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system that takes in information from the environment, processes it,
word, language is notoriously difficult to define: "People know what
stores it, and at some stage retrieves and acts upon that information.
language' means; that is, until they are asked to define the word, either
If the metaphor is accepted uncritically (as it is by much of contempo-
nominally by stating its defiens, or ostensively by pointing to its referent.
rary psychology), then the scientist is directed toward a stimulus-
It then becomes apparent that the meaning of 'language, despite the
organism-response (S-O-R) account: environmental stimuli are taken in
familiarity and usefulness of the word in everyday discourse, is uncertain
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by the organism, processed and worked upon; these internal workings
and obscure" (Lee, 1981, p. 29).
are then considered to guide responses. Skinner examined the metaphor
On the way we ordinarily talk about language, Skinner noted, "Lan-
and found it lacking: "When physical records are stored, the records
guage has the character of a thing, something a person acquires and
continue to exist until they are retrieved, but is that true when people
possesses. Psychologists speak of the 'acquisition of language' in the
process information'?" (Skinner, 1985, p. 294). He argued that astorage
child. The words and sentences of which a language is composed are said
battery might be a better metaphor to guide psychology. Electricity is put
to be tools used to express meanings, thoughts, ideas, propositions,
into a battery but is not stored there. Rather, the battery is changed, and
emotions, needs, desires, and many other things in or on the speaker's
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it is a changed battery that puts out electricity. In a similar way, he
mind" (Skinner, 1974, p. 88). The language of mind implies a thing or
a place; the language of language implies a thing or a structure. As the
forms & agreements
argued, an organism is changed by its exposure to contingencies of
reinforcement, and it is a changed organism that emits behavior:
language of learning implies the possession of knowledge, so the lan-
"Organisms do not acquire behavior as a kind of possession; they simply
guage of language implies a complex program of words and grammatical
rules possessed by and stored inside the person, retrieved and used as a
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Chapter 2
Ordinary Language and Science
tool when required. The metaphor of storage and retrieval has been
prescientific conceptual systems and metaphors that can block or hinder
discussed above, and a further question may be added here about its use
analysis by guiding scientists toward internal, inaccessible properties of
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in relation to language, that is to say, about the suggestion that language
organisms and away from more accessible properties-namely, relations
is stored, retrieved, and used as a tool.
between behavior and the context in which it occurs.
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Consider an analogy between the language of words and what is often
called the language of dance. We are said to store words, retrieve them,
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and use them to convey meaning. In a dance context, we can comfortably
Grammar and the Syntax of Action
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talk about the language of dance conveying meaning to an audience. A
skilled writer, public speaker, or lecturer shares several characteristics
Conceptual systems are not the only controlling variables concealed in
ordinary language. Other variables are embedded, in a sense, more
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with a skilled dancer. Each is a performer, highly trained over several
years to behave in a particular way. Barring physical disability, everyone
deeply than the conceptual systems discussed above. Other aspects of
ordinary language also encourage a particular way of looking at or
Mecca Chie...iorism.pdf X
is capable of dancing and speaking to some degree or other. In each
instance, the level of skill and subtlety will depend largely on training and
thinking about behavior, and are even more obscure than the conceptual
the language can either be performed or written. The analogy is useful
systems of mind, learning, or language because they comprise the syntax
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because it highlights the way we are directed to study one kind of
of our language.
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language, the language of words, by the way we generally talk about it.
Hineline (1980) argues that English grammar and syntax impose
Wewould not comfortably talk about the acquisition of dance as though
constraints on the way we view the subject matter of psychology
it were an entity taken in and possessed; we would more easily refer to the
constraints that are "linguistic-as opposed to logical" (Hineline, 1980,
Document Language:
training of a dancer. Neither would we refer to storage and retrieval:
p. 80). He identifies two linguistic constraints that guide scientists
English (U.S.) Change
where does the dancer store a pirouette, for example, or an arabesque? An
toward a particular way of dealing with behavior. The first lies in the
arabesque is not in the dancer at any time. The pirouette, the arabesque,
failure of the English language to maintain a strict distinction between
come into being in performance. These movements are not dormant,
verbs (words that denote transient events) and nouns (words that denote
latent, stored inside the dancer awaiting recall. They are transient events
things or objects that endure and have a kind of permanence). The
existing in the moments of their performance.
second is the near impossibility of speaking of action in the English
language without reference to an agent.
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We are also likely to say that a dancer performs a pirouette in preference
to usesa pirouette, which helps to illustrate Skinner's argument that: "We
have no more reason to say that a man 'uses the word water' in asking for
Grammatical categories. In hisanalysis of linguistic constraints, Hineline
a drink than to say that he 'uses a reach' in taking the offered glass"
draws on the comparative linguistics of Benjamin Lee Whorf (see Whorf,
(Skinner, 1957, p. 7). The way we talk about the language of words needs
1956). Informed by his comparisons of grammar and syntax in English
careful consideration before we allow its conceptual scheme to direct our
and several American-Indian languages, Whorf argued in Language,
scientific inquiries.
Thought, and Reality that Western science dissects the physical world
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The languages of mind, learning, and language illustrate some of the
along lines laid down by its language. Structures and processes are not
forms & agreements
difficulties inherent in taking ordinary, everyday vocabulary as the
given to Western science by the physical world but are to some extent
starting point of a scientific analysis of behavior. Verbal behavior
already present in its language. He argued that speakers of languages with
precedes scientific behavior and words therefore carry with them
different kinds of grammars are led to dissect the world along different
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Chapter 2
Ordinary Language and Science
lines: "Formulation of ideas is not an independent process, strictly
rational in the old sense, but is part of a particular grammar, and differs,
This grammatical tendency to express in noun form events that are
properly verbs guides psychologists away from the study of what people
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from slightly to greatly, between different grammars. We dissect nature
along lines laid down by our native language" (Whorf, 1956, p. 213).
do (processes, verbs) toward the study of structures denoted by the noun
Whorf examined the distinction between nouns and verbs in the
forms. People remember, think, talk, see, hear, and feel-all verbs.
When these actions are transformed into nouns-memory, thought,
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English language and found that the traditional distinction between
language, sensation, emotion-as is common in the English language,
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"doing" (or "happening") words and "thing" words is not well main-
then scientists are encouraged to look for the things denoted by the
tained in practice and that many words which should properly be in verb
nouns. In this way, inspired by grammatical form, psychology becomes
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form because they describe transient events are in fact in noun form.
Similarly, some words denoting stable and long lasting events, which
the study of structures (nouns) that are assumed to have some kind of
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because of those properties should be classed as nouns, are found to be
permanence, rather than the study of ongoing processes or activities.
Agents for actions. Another linguistic constraint that Hineline draws
Mecca Chie...iorism.pdf X
verbs:
If it be said that "strike, turn, run," are verbs because they
from Whorf is the syntactic requirement of providing subjects for verbs,
denote temporary or short-lasting events, i.e., actions,
or as Hineline puts it: "the near impossibility, when speaking English, of
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expressing action without imputing an agent of the action" (Hineline,
why then is "fist" a noun? It is also a temporary event.
1980, p. 80). To satisfy the requirements of English grammar our verbs
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Why are "lightning, spark, wave, eddy, pulsation, flame,
must have substantives, they must have agents that perform the act
storm, phase, cycle, spasm, noise, emotion" nouns:
Document Language:
They are temporary events. If "man" and "house" are
described by the verb. For example, "there is rain" would be an unusual
although more accurate way of describing what is going on when we say
"it is raining"; for in logical terms, what is raining? The answer: rain is
English (U.S.) Change
nouns because they are long-lasting and stable events,
i.e., things, what then are "keep, adhere, extend, project,
raining, or water is raining from the sky. The requirement of an agent is
continue, persist, grow, dwell," and so on doing among
a linguistic rather than a logical requirement. In his study of the Hopi
the verbs?" (Whorf, 1956, p. 215).
language, Whorf (1956) found that:
Like scientific categories, grammatical categories are not handed to us by
Hopi can and does have verbs without subjects, a fact
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nature: "It will be found that it is not possible to define 'event, object,
which may give that tongue potentialities, probably
thing, relation' and so on from nature, but that to define them always
involves a circuitous return to the grammatical categories of the definer's
never to be developed, as a logical system for understand-
language" (Whorf, 1956, p. 215). Grammatical categories of other
ing some aspects of the universe. Undoubtedly modern
languages such as Hopi and Nootka express objects, transience, and
science, strongly reflecting western Indo-European
duration in different ways from English. Hopi, for example, has a class
tongues, often does as we all do, sees actions and forces
where it sometimes might be better to see states. On the
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of events roughly corresponding to our verbs that are grouped by
other hand, "state" is a noun, and as such it enjoys the
duration type-lightning, wave, flame, meteor, puff of smoke, pulsa-
superior prestige traditionally attaching to the subject or
forms & agreements
tion, which in English are more like nouns.
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Chapter 2
Ordinary Language and Science
thing class; therefore science is exceedingly ready to
speak of states if permitted to manipulate the concept
Circumventing language traps. Hineline suggests three strategies for
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like a noun. (pp. 243-244).
circumventing these "language traps," allowing us to talk about behavior
in ways that deemphasize the notion of initiating agents and focus more
Whorf applied his notion of linguistic relativity to Western science,
on processes (verbs) than on structures (nouns).
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arguing that science divides the world along lines laid down within the
(1) He argues that some nouns seem to have a more solid character than
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structure of Indo-European languages. Hineline applies this argument
to psychology to highlight some of the differences between the terminol-
others and his first strategy is to try to choose nouns that are less solid for
or Excel Online
ogy of behavior analysis (the field of psychology informed by radical
referring to events or changes. For example, he suggests that we might
behaviorism) and the language of other types of psychology. "Given that
substitute pattern for structure and argues that this would have two
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patterns of English virtually disallow actions without agents," he writes,
advantages. First, pattern implies greater fluidity, change, and continu-
"when one describes an action that has no obvious external agent one
ation than structure, carrying with it the notion that behavior is ongoing
Mecca Chie...iorism.pdf X
gratuitously implies an agent. By convention the implied agent is usually
rather than fixed or static. Second, referring to patterns rather than
internal or mentalistic" (Hineline, 1980, p. 81).
structures helps avoid the practice of attributing causal status to descrip-
Because English language patterns require agents for actions, it is a
tions. Consider the difference between personality and patterns of behav-
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matter of linguistic rather than logical necessity to supply an agent. In the
ior. in referring to regularities in behavior as patterns we are likely to
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case of behavior, agency is often ascribed to the organism itself. Behavior
remember that we are describing something ongoing and fluid. Refer-
does not simply occur; the organism is taken to be the initiating agent.
ring to regularities in behavior as personality (a word having a more solid
In the radical behaviorist formulation, if there is deemed to be an agent,
character) encourages us to forget that we are describing behavior and to
Document Language:
that role is given over to the environment. To talk of the environment
assume that we are giving a causal account, that in identifying some sort
English (U.S.) Change
as an initiating agent, however, is still to thwart the real emphasis of the
of structure for personality we can draw on it as a causal concept. The
radical behaviorist formulation. To say "the environment selects behav-
term, personality, has shifted in some areas of psychology from a
ior" is too strong a case, giving too much to the environment as though
description of regularities in behavior to the status of a causal entity or
it were somehow an active entity. "Behavior is selected by the environ-
agent: "There is now much evidence that there are three major dimen-
ment," the passive form, is a somewhat better expression since it de
sions of personality that determine a good deal of our everyday behavior"
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emphasizes the notion of an initiating agent that is given prominence in
(Eysenck, 1980, p. 52, emphasis added), a shift that is less likely to occur
the former expression. The passive form is not popular however. The
if regularities are referred to as patterns of behavior.
Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, for ex-
Hineline goes on to say, "Such differences of metaphor are not trivial.
ample, instructs writers thus: "Verbs are vigorous, direct communica-
Cognitive structure, to me, suggests a rigidity uncharacteristic of
tors. Use the active rather than the passive voice" (American Psychologi
evolving human thinking; it is too easily reified in the absence of
cal Association, 1983, p. 36). According to Whorf, the outcome of this
adequate facts. 'Cognitive patterning," on the other hand, suggests
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grammatical necessity is that "We are constantly reading into nature
fluidity and flexibility-the quicksilver phenomena of problem-solving,
fictional acting entities, simply because our verbs must have substantives
remembering, and recognizing or discriminating" (Hineline, 1980, p.
forms & agreements
in front of them" (Whorf, 1956, p. 243).
83). Indeed, the choice of metaphor is far from trivial since metaphors
have the power to direct the way in which we study and talk about our
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Chapter 2
Ordinary Language and Science
subject matter, as the earlier discussion on the metaphor of storage and
it is the person who must be analyzed, dissected, and investigated in order
Export PDF
retrieval illustrates. Similarly, the pejorative expression, "this is just
to study the creative process. However, if the person is viewed as host,
semantics," fails to recognize the profound consequences of opting for
and the creation of a poem or lecture seen as the confluence of
one kind of discourse rather than another.
reinforcement history (experience) and present circumstances, then it is
history and present circumstances that can more easily be analyzed,
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(2) Hineline's second strategy addresses the problem of "what to do with
dissected, and investigated. Skinner concluded his lecture thus: "And
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the agent that our language patterns continually append to actions"
now my labor is over. I have had my lecture. I have no sense of
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(Hineline, 1980, p. 83). Instead of viewing the organism as agent, he
fatherhood. If my genetic and personal histories had been different, I
suggests it might be viewed as the "host" of its behavior, a focal point of
should have come into possession of a different lecture. If I deserve any
Select PDF File
energy and activity and a "place" where variables come together. This
credit at all, it is simply for having served as a place in which certain
unusual view differs from our traditional Western conception of the
processes could take place" (Skinner, 1972a, p. 355). The metaphor of
Mecca Chie...iorism.pdf X
person as a contained self separate from its environment, operating on
the person as host rather than agent guides scientists to look at the many
rather than in the environment, but it may provide a way of thinking
variables influencing creative processes (multiple causation) and to
about behavior that is less constrained by linguistic convention.
consider the person as a dynamic, interactive part of their environment.
Convert to
What is the self, asks Hineline, if it is not to be defined as the repertoire
of the organism? "Even as behaving constitutes the uncanny difference
(3) Hineline's third strategy involves careful rewording of nouns derived
Microsoft Word (*.docx)
between a live creature and a dead one, a person's repertoires define the
from adverbs, turning words that sound like things back into descrip-
person who is the locus of activity" (Hineline, 1980, p. 83). Skinner also
tions of behavior and using gerunds (in simple terms, usually words
Document Language:
used this metaphor of the person as a place where variables come
ending in "ing"). For example, intelligence has the character of a thing,
English (U.S.) Change
together. In A Lecture on "Having" a Poem (Skinner, 1972a) he compared
whereas acting intelligently is a description of behavior. Similarly,
the process of creating a poem or a lecture to the process of creating a baby
knowledge and motivation sound like things and many attempts are
and asked of each case "who is to be given credit?" In the case of a woman
made to study them as though they were. Hineline's strategy would
having a baby there is a sense in which the woman should be given credit
convert knowledge to knowing, and motivation would become "moti-
since it is she who undergoes this difficult and painful process. But
vated, or highly persistent, focused behaving" (Hineline, 1980, p. 84).
Convert
having a baby can also be viewed as a biological process and the woman
Behavior itself becomes behaving: " We study remembering rather than
in this view is the place where biological variables come together.
memory, thinking rather than cognition-in short, behaving rather
Similarly, the poet or lecturer may be given credit for going through the
han behavior" (Hineline, 1980, p. 84).
difficult process of creating text, but we may also see that person as the
Modifying language in this way brings us closer to a conception of
focus of genetic and environmental variables, as a combination of
behavior that guides behavioral science toward the study of processes
reinforcement history and present circumstances, as a place where all of
(verbs) rather than structures (nouns), toward an interactive view of
these variables come together to produce poem or lecture. In this
organisms and their environments, and toward a view of behavior as the
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dynamic, interactive formulation there is no single initiating agent, but
confluence of many variables including past and present, organism and
forms & agreements
many variables acting together.
environment. To put the case in behavioral terms: without careful
This distinction between the person as agent and the person as host is
analysis of language patterns and the controlling variables in ordinary
also not a trivial one, because if the person is the agent of creation, then
language, we continue to succumb to its influence. Understanding its
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Chapter 2
Ordinary Language and Science
influence provides a means to counter control by allowing us to see the
constraints it places upon us and by presenting possibilities for change.
implied in accounts of behavior depending on whether the interpreta
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Changing the words in which we talk about behavior will guide
tion is of our own or of someone else's behavior. Again, Hineline (1990,
behavioral science in a different and perhaps more useful direction.
1992) was the first to point out this difference as well as its controlling
variables.
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First, he notes that interpretations and explanations of behavior have
Directional Talk
two characteristics; bipolarity and directionality, with forms like agent
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to action, cause to effect, independent to dependent variable. Second, he
or Excel Online
In addition to the ways ordinary language influences our thinking about
notes that psychological accounts occur in two basic modes: person
and investigating behavior, readers and listeners may be discomforted by
based or environment based. In the former mode, the direction is from
Select PDF File
what Hineline (1980) calls the "distinct dialect" of radical behaviorism.
person (or some dispositional aspect of the person) to behavior:
Mecca Chie...iorism.pdf X
There are many examples in the dialect of radical behaviorism of what
Person
-> Behavior
seem to be unnecessarily convoluted expressions for quite simple events.
Hineline notes that the seemingly simple expression, "Knowing that we
In the latter mode, the direction is from some aspect of the environment
to behavior:
Convert to
can predict future events, we act accordingly," becomes at first glance a
more convoluted expression when translated into radical behaviorist
Environment
> Behavior
Microsoft Word (*.docx)
terminology: "Predictability of events, apart from the events themselves,
is a variable that affects our behavior" (Hineline, 1980, p. 71). And the
Hineline's analysis draws on the work of attribution theorists (for
simple phrase, "The child learns to catch someone's eye when needing
example, Jones and Nisbett, 1971; Storms, 1973) who found that the
Document Language:
English (U.S.) Change
assistance or attention," becomes in the radical behaviorist's dialect,
direction of action in interpretations or explanations of behavior differs
'Eye-contact becomes both a reinforcer and a discriminative event
according to the location of the person giving the account. Where an
setting the occasions on which the child's behavior is likely to be
account is given of the behavior of another person, the typical direction
reinforced by another person" (Hineline, 1980, p. 71). In each example,
of action is from person to behavior; an observer tends to explain the
note that the behavioral dialect avoids the difficulties involved in terms
behavior of another person by alluding to internal characteristics of that
like knowing and learning and concentrates on simpler functional
other person as in some way causal. This tendency has become known
Convert
relations between discriminative stimuli, setting conditions, and rein-
as the "fundamental attribution error" (Ross, 1977). When describing
forcement. Ironically, the seemingly more convoluted sentence actually
their own behavior-when the observer and observed are one person-
expresses simpler relations than those involved in the conceptual systems
the directional mode is typically from environment to behavior. People
inherent in the language of "knowing" and "learning." The phrases that
ordinarily interpret their own behavior in terms of events or effects in the
seem so complicated in comparison to our everyday expressions, are in
external context and interpret the behavior of others in terms of
fact less problematic in terms of their conceptual systems.
characteristics or events internal to the person:
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Another difference between ordinary language and the language of
Interpreting the Behavior of Others
forms & agreements
behavior analysis has to do with the tendency to alter the directionality
Person
--> Behavior
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Chapter 2
Ordinary Language and Science
Interpreting One's Own Behavior
"Wine is stronger than beer"
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Environment
-> Behavior
Environment
-> Behavior
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Radical behaviorists interpret the behavior of others using the directional
Where not everyone is similarly affected, where a response to situational
Convert PDF Files to Word
mode normally reserved for accounting for one's own behavior and so
events is more individual, directionality is person based:
or Excel Online
reverse this tendency:
"I am more allergic to tulips than to roses"
Interpreting the Behavior of Others
Select PDF File
(behavior analytic account)
Person -
-> Behavior
Mecca Chie...iorism.pdf X
Environment
> Behavior
Reversing directionality illustrates the convention: "I have carried out
an extensive set of observations, with myself as subject, and have
Convert to
As such, behavior analytic accounts violate a cultural norm. This,
discovered that I am more easily intoxicated by wine than by beer. Based
Hineline argues, may contribute substantially to clashes between behav-
on a similar set of observations, I have discovered that tulips are more
Microsoft Word (*.docx)
ior analysis and other viewpoints in psychology (Hineline, 1990).
allergenic than roses." Hineline directs us to consider how such state-
Hineline makesa further point in his analysis of directional modesand
ments might be received. "I am more easily intoxicated by wine than by
Document Language:
the distinctiveness of behavior analytic accounts. Attribution theorists
beer" (a person based interpretation of a general effect) is likely to be
have also described circumstances that occasion a switch of directional
dismissed as an uninteresting statement since the relative potency of
English (U.S.) Change
mode from environment based to person based, even when the inter-
wine and beer is well known and everyone is similarly affected. The
preter of action is both observer and observed (when a person interprets
observation, "tulips are more allergenic than roses," an environment
his or her own behavior). Hineline illustrates this by comparing two
based interpretation of an individual effect, is likely to be protested for
passages, one that maintains the culturally typical pattern and one that
precisely the reason that it is an individual effect and should not be
reverses it: "I have carried out an extensive set of observations, with
generalized. It seems that where people are equally affected, the direc-
Convert
myself as subject, and have discovered that wine is stronger than beer.
tional mode in ordinary parlance is environment based, but where
Based on a comparable set of observations, I have discovered that I am
people are not equally affected, the directional mode is person based.
more allergic to tulips than to roses." Here an observer interprets his or
Behavior analytic accounts also violate this cultural norm by referring
her own behavior, but the directional mode switches from environment
to the behavior of individuals in the mode ordinarily reserved for
based for the first observation to person based for the second observation.
instances in which everyone is treated as being alike. Behavior analytic
Each observation refers to the susceptibility of the person to some
experiments as well as educational and therapeutic interventions concen-
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environmental event, and it turns out that the switch is occasioned by the
trate on individuals rather than on groups, but interpretive accounts in
forms & agreements
extent to which an effect applies to many people or to isolated individuals
the Skinnerian tradition are couched in a language pattern that suggests
(Hineline, 1990). Where situational events affect people similarly,
that all individuals are alike or are equally affected. Hineline (1990, 1992)
directionality is environment based:
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Chapter 2
suggests that this violation of a cultural norm may also cause discomfort
by threatening the individuality of the reader or listener.
Chapter 3
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Apart from grammatical and syntactic constraints, then, behavior
analysts must also be concerned to note that the directional mode in their
interpretations of behavior runs counter to cultural norms. Similarly,
Adobe Export PDF
other traditions in psychology should also be concerned with deep
Science: Aims and Methods
rooted language patterns that inform and guide ways of thinking and
Convert PDF Files to Word
talking about behavior, with the variables governing the directional
or Excel Online
mode of their own accounts, and with the possibility that vernacular
language patterns may also influence their response to radical behaviorist
Chapter 1 noted that although psychology is united by a commitment
Select PDF File
accounts.
to scientific method, its subdisciplines are not all committed to the same
Ordinary language is not neutral with respect to the subject matter of
kind of science. Methods and the general theoretical framework against
Mecca Chie...iorism.pdf X
behavioral science and the scientist is not exempt from the influence that
which data are interpreted vary between sub-disciplines. Behavior analy-
ordinary language exerts on conceptualizations of behavior and on
sis is distinct from much of contemporary experimental psychology in
that its philosophical background, radical behaviorism, promotes a
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interpretive forms. Ordinary language terms and their conceptual sys-
tems function not simply as interpretations of the subject matter but also
cientificamethod that is inductive rather than hypothetico-deductive.
The contemporary literature of mainstream experimental psychology
Microsoft Word (*.docx)
as guides to the way the subject matter will be treated. The conceptual
systems inherent in the language of mind, learning, and language itself
gives little recognition to the fact that there is more than one way of
Document Language:
lead to a view that the important relations between organism and
legitimately doing science. Methodology is strictly prescribed within the
environment take place insidethe organism. Apart from these conceptual
hypothetico-deductive tradition (or the method of hypothesis, as it is
English (U.S.) Change
systems, linguistic constraints also draw science toward the study of
also known), loosely adopting the logic of falsification, and emphasizing
nouns (things, structures) and away from the study of verbs (activities,
statistical analysis of data as a way of controlling for variability in
processes, patterns). Our way of talking about the direction of action
behavior. These prescriptions and their rationale are presented to
appears to be influenced both by the location of the interpreter and by
successive generations of students so as to seem the only legitimate
the locus of variability, a feature that sets behavior analytic interpreta-
methods of scientific inquiry.
Chapter 1 also noted that Skinner did not subscribe to the view that
Convert
tions apart from the cultural norm and that may cause discomfort to the
reader or listener.
science is a straightforward and strictly logical pursuit, arguing instead
Much more can be said about the relation between ordinary language
that some very important aspects of the scientific process do not lend
and science. Much more should be said, because if language continues to
themselves to formal treatment. In his experience, science is rarely the
be the calculus of behavioral science, its practitioners need to understand
formal process that historians and methodologists claim, and is only
its limits and constraints as well as the ways it guides their own behavior
imperfectly described by the step-by-step logic of the hypothetico-
toward particular views of their subject matter and particular forms of
deductive approach.
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interpretation.
Radical behaviorist methodology belongs to a philosophy of science
forms & agreements
tradition that does not recognize the method of hypothesis as an essential
requirement of scientific inquiry. Methodology is dictated by a number
of concerns, and in the case of radical behaviorism is largely dictated by
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