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Started in the U.S. in the 1940s-50s--concern with mass
population, consumerism, aggression (war)
What matters is behavior (response to stimuli):
observable, controllable, scientific
Denial of Freudian inner substance, or heredity
Behavioral engineering:
First order conditioning (Ivan Pavlov): ringing (neutral)
+food (natural stimulus) => dog salivation (from un- to
conditioned response)
Second order conditioning (“Little Albert”, by John
Watson and Rosalie Rayner 1920): scary ringing + rats
=> fear of rats => fear of furry items.
Watson: “Give me a child, and I will give you any adult
professional you want”)
Modern classical conditioning (R.A. Rescorla, Leo J.
Kamin): relationship between neutral and natural
stimulus must be not only temporal, but informational
(“A—sound—will lead to B—food”)
Operant conditioning (E.L. Thorndike, B.F. Skinner):
Successful or punishing result (law of cause-effect)
rather leads to complex/artificial behavior adoption
(learning or avoidance)=> Walden Two, a behaviorallyengineered Utopia
Even after extinction of positive reinforcement,
organism carries on behavior for a while—will continue
behavior with contingencies of random reinforcement
Shock/censure therapy
education (Clark Hall)
retardation therapy
phobias, neuroses, addictions (counterconditioning)
Humans as machines stimulated by environment and
denial of inner world does not explain language and
Chaotic (human) nature more complex than lab animals
Not all “laboratory” parameters controllable in real life
Human rights/freedom trespassed on (gender
conditioning disasters)
Selection of favorable stimuli not best survival strategy
Anticipating the future