[ExI] How Technology Hijacks People’s Minds

Anders anders at aleph.se
Tue May 31 20:16:39 UTC 2016

On 2016-05-30 21:34, William Flynn Wallace wrote:
> Now why don't we all know this?  Skinner not taught?  ???  What these 
> early learning people did, from Pavlov on, has never been found 
> invalid or unreliable.  So they are facts of life underlying all 
> learning, from a rat pressing a bar to the most involved cognitive 
> functioning (but see the history of insight learning).

People often throw out the behaviorist with the bathwater. While 
classical and operant conditioning is a mainstay of psych 101 courses, 
most people who know about the topic tend to assume that behaviorism is 
dead. Which is true, but the behaviorist findings remain true even if 
the methodology and theory are pretty dead.

I met a colleague writing a book on how to train your husband, and it 
was all based on behaviorist theories. She remarked that she couldn't 
name them as behaviorism (mostly because readers did not want any fancy 
terminology), but it was straight out of psych 101.

Dr Anders Sandberg
Future of Humanity Institute
Oxford Martin School
Oxford University

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