As any student who had completed a course in Psychology 101 in his undergrad years would tell you (and this columnist had), this antiquated theory is based on the Skinnerian
model of SR (stimulus-response), devised in the 1950s by the Harvard University behavioral psychologist B.
Behaviour was filtered through the lens of conditioning--either Pavlovian (reflexive) or Skinnerian
Yee explains this in terms of Skinnerian
psychology, as players interpret events as behavior-linked stimuli.
Skinners crude behaviorism of 50 years ago has seen the beginnings of a revival in the current interest in neuroscience (and behavioral economics), which may also portend a revival of a much more sophisticated updating of the Skinnerian
vision of therapeutic government.
I have also found it beneficial to make the jobs into game-like activities with built-in rewards or incentives based on Skinnerian
theory of positive reinforcement (Skinner, 1938).
The latter option--consequentialism--is consistent with hard determinism, given that nothing about consequentialism requires that agents be construed as ultimately responsible for their behavior, and further given that Skinnerian
conditioning and related forms of autonomy-neutral or even autonomy-undermining forms of conditioning are obviously consistent with determinism.
Sensation and reward are often studied, but almost never together, and the advent of Skinnerian
behavioralism 70 years ago is sometimes posited as a factor in the separation.
This should not pose a problem to anyone but the most unreconstructed Skinnerian
, but it does reveal the contemporary concerns that underscore Emon's project.
Rafieian describes how the idea of dissociation, which was present in the works of Morton Price, William James, and Carl Jung, was sidelined for a while with the advent of Freudian psychoanalysis and Skinnerian
behaviorism, to be later resurrected in the neodissociation theory of Ernest Hilgard in the context of the need for treating psychological traumas resulting from WWII by means of hypnosis (p.
In the late 1960's and early 1970's, precision teaching involved a small and vibrant community of dedicated Skinnerian
behavior analysts, led by Ogden Lindsley, Eric Haughton, and a handful of their colleagues and students.
The fact, however, is that research on verbal behavior and treatment of verbal behavior disorders based on Skinnerian
analysis are flourishing.
Random reinforcement is the most effective means of installing a behavior," she speculated, recalling basic Skinnerian
conditioning, but was not certain exactly what payoff she received.