A Conversation for Behaviouristic Theory

I think therefore I am not a behaviourist.

Post 1


I love what you've done with the different theories. Glad it's made it onto the front page. Are you a psychologist / psychoanalyst / student, or just far too knowledgeable for your own good? I spent 7 years studying psychology, before finally decaring myself too unstable to continue. I was a social psychologist, although during my first degree the college I was at was a very heavy cognitive centre. (Michael Eysenck ran the department). I strayed further and further into social psychology, which I found extremely interesting, getting into Social Identity theory, Self-Categorisation Thoery etc. Finished up looking at Non-linear Dynamic models of socail behaviour. Lots of fun, Chaos Psychology!!

Anyway, one of the thinks I was going to suggest was that it's often intersting looking at how the nature of the theories produced can be interestingly explained by the social circumstances of the psychologists who created them. The theories you've covered are some of the best examples of this.

P.S. I am putting this on every page!!!

I think therefore I am not a behaviourist.

Post 2

Fenchurch M. Mercury

Wow, every page? smiley - smiley

Just a dabbling student... I took one course in it and decided it wasn't my cup of tea, after all. Actually, at the time I was thinking criminal psychology/forensics would be fun. Some things about psych in general interested me, but a lot of it just seemed to be common sense (methodology, etc.) and I got kind of bored, and the Law & Order thing sort of wore off. I'm still debating whether I should take another course in it, just to make sure I don't like it, though. I have a lot of fun writing about it, looking at the data and...er... figuring out things, I guess you would say, but at the same time turning people's entire lives into empirical data sort of disturbs me.

I think therefore I am not a behaviourist.

Post 3

Researcher 55245

What about the genetic predisposition towards particular personality disorders?

Darwinian thought would have us believe that only 'successful' or helpful traits make it through from one generation to the next. So does depression or psychopathic behaviour have a survival value for the species?

I think therefore I am not a behaviourist.

Post 4

Fenchurch M. Mercury

Well that would be a new article. I just wanted to outline the five most distinct theories here, without getting into therapies or disorders. The class I took didn't go into much depth about disorders, as it was only general and I'm not very much interested in the disorders, so I wouldn't really know. But in regards to the comment about genetic psycosis, the same question can be asked about cancer, hemophilia, etc... which have all been proven to be at least strongly genetic yet have survived as well. Maybe because they are only partial, as is hemophilia, where there are 'carriers' not directly affected by the gene yet are able to pass it on, or because they are slow or not fatal, and allow time to reproduce and keep the gene(s) alive. After all, humans are in such a state that the whole survival thing isn't really necessary and "picking the best", at least in terms of physiology, isn't really enforced.

I think therefore I am not a behaviourist.

Post 5


I wasn't at all keen on the whole empirical side either, shich was why I went further and further into Social Psychology, and did more qualitative research. Problem with qualitative reseach is that it doesn't really prove anything. Still, empirical research tends to invalidate itself because controlling the conditions makes it totally non-real-world.

You should definately continue it if you're interested, but be very picky about courses, cos they're all so different and whole swathes of Psychology are not that interesting...

I think therefore I am not a behaviourist.

Post 6


As Fenchurch says, humanity has pretty much outgrown evolution, in that we cure our ill, do not cull the sick and infirm, heat our homes, feed our poor etc. all of which leads to a far more 'diluted' (to use a rather Nazi term) gen pool. We do not mate anymore purely based on genetic strength, but for a variety of socio-econic factors (though these are often quite close to 'gene strength')

Also Darwinian evolution is not quite as accurate as GCSE Biology would have had us all believe, and the fittest in all species do not always survive, and often fail completely to pass their strengths on. (I'm not a biologist so I'm not sure what the current variant of evolutionary theory is prevalent these days, but I know Darwinian evolution is no longer flavour of the month)

Recessive genes, such as those which lead to haemophilia, can be passed on for dozens of generations without appearance, (though they usually do).

The Swedes ran a long programme of genetic purification by running a sterilisation programme for the mentally ill, the handicapped and even the delinquent. Proved to be of no real use whatsoever in removing those 'types' from the Swedish gene pool.

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