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Post-behavioralism


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#1 tennisfool412

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Posted 01 February 2008 - 04:07 PM

Would someone mind explaining what this term exactly means? I googled it with no luck.
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#2 Dr. McNinja

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Posted 01 February 2008 - 06:16 PM

Post-behavioralism? In what context were you exposed to it?
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#3 tennisfool412

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Posted 01 February 2008 - 06:22 PM

I'm actually not sure, it came up when I was typing african doctors. So I'm not sure about the actual context...


sorry.
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#4 Dr. McNinja

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Posted 01 February 2008 - 06:25 PM

It's probably dealing with Postpositivism. Could you link me to the article?
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#5 Tomak

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Posted 01 February 2008 - 07:47 PM

No, he isn't talking about post-positivism. Well, not exactly. Skinner believed that Behaviorism was the application of positivism to the science of psychology, but that's a different story. (See the introduction of Skinner's About Behaviorism, if you actually care.)

Behaviorism was the predominant school of thought in psychology throughout most of the 20th century. It was founded by B. F. Skinner. The idea was that psychology is only scientific if its goal is to observe, model, predict, and influence behavior. Theorizing about what's going on in a person's head (like what Freud tried to do) is not scientific, as there's no way to know what's actually going on in there.

Behaviorism is very strict about the limits of psychology. There is no introspection, no philosophizing about the id and the ego, no theorizing about the nature of consciousness, no real "emotions" except as descriptions of behavior, and so on. There's a joke about Behaviorism that goes like this:

Two behaviorists just finished making love. One looks to the other and says, "Well, it was good for you. How was it for me?"

If that joke makes sense to you, you understand Behaviorism.

Behaviorism has only recently fallen out of vogue as a result of the great leaps made in neuroscience starting in the early 90s. Today cognitive psychology is taking hold because scientists actually have been able to model some functions of the brain.

I don't know what "postbehavioralism" is, but a google search returned only a few results for any permutation of the spelling. From what I've found, it seems to be nothing more than criticism of Skinner's Behaviorism.

As far as how this could be an argument in debate, I have no idea. As I said above, most psychologists are not strict Behaviorists any more. No aff is going to link to a critique like this, and no aff is going to be able to scoop it up as an advantage. It's probably irrelevant.

But at least now you have some background, in case you ever do need to know. At the very least, now you'll nail that test question about Skinner in Psych 101 when you take it in college. Pavlov, Skinner, and Freud are covered in the first two weeks of just about every psych class in the nation.
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#6 Dr. McNinja

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Posted 01 February 2008 - 08:22 PM

Indeed, as Tomak said, I can't fathom a way of applying this to any K, and it would seem foolish to try. Again, if you could provide a link to the article, it would shed a much needed insight to its application.
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#7 Brad Bolman

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Posted 01 February 2008 - 09:14 PM

Just adding this in: from the bit of searching I did on the topic, there is a difference between behaviorism and behavioralism. (One is about specifically psychology, the other the application of that to political theory). Not that I can explain either at all, but it may help anyone researching the issue.
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#8 Tomak

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Posted 02 February 2008 - 12:10 AM

Okay, I took a second look. From what I can find, the term "behavioralism" in political science seems to be borrowed directly from "behaviorism" in psychology. Why the extra two letters were added is beyond me. Comparing the two terms:

Behaviorism (psych): Study only what is observable in psychology, ie how humans behave.

Behavioralism (poly sci): Study only what is observable in politics, ie how political bodies behave.

So they mean essentially the same thing, just with a different subject matter. It seems like the analogy was made up by a small minority of political scientists to help define what they're criticizing. Basically, "post-behavioralists" think that trying to make political science more scientific is a fools errand and cuts out too many tools that are very important for studying politics.

I don't really know what to make of this. Nobody really calls themselves a "behavioralist," and most political scientists wouldn't even fall into that category. Political scientists borrow far more from sociology, anthropology, history, and philosophy than they do from psychology and the sciences. I don't see who this criticism is directed at. Political science is not a science, and I don't think there is or ever was any kind of movement to make it one.

Again, I still don't see how this has anything to do with debate. Perhaps some kind of "you make behavioralist assumptions, vote neg to reject" kritik. I don't know. Sounds like the easiest thing to perm, ever.
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#9 dan.

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Posted 02 February 2008 - 12:43 AM

cough cough george herbert mead cough.

They should really teach pragmatism in grade school.
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#10 tennisfool412

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Posted 02 February 2008 - 11:56 AM

Thanks you guys for all the help.
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