B. F. Scinner: Science and Human Behavior
The immediate tangible results of science make it easier to appraise than philosophy, poetry, art, or theology. It is clear, then, that science “has something.” It is a unique intellectual process which yields remarkable results.
The danger is that its astonishing accomplishments may conceal its true nature. This is especially important when we extend the methods of science to a new field. The basic characteristics of science are not restricted to any particular subject matter.
When we study physics, chemistry, or biology, we study organized accumulations of information. These are not science itself but the products of science. Science is first of all a set of attitudes.
It is a disposition to deal with the facts rather than with what someone has said about them. Scientists are by nature no more honest than other men but, as Bridgman has pointed out, the practice of science puts an exceptionally high premium on honesty.
It is characteristic of science that any lack of honesty quickly brings disaster.
SECTION: I THE POSSIBILITY OF A SCIENCE OF HUMAN BEHAVIOR
- CAN SCIENCE HELP?
- A SCIENCE OF BEHAVIOR
- WHY ORGANISMS BEHAVE
SECTION II: THE ANALYSIS OF BEHAVIOR
- REFLEXES AND CONDITIONED REFLEXES
- OPERANT BEHAVIOR
- SHAPING AND MAINTAINING OPERANT BEHAVIORVIL OPERANT DISCRIMINATION
- THE CONTROLLING ENVIRONMENTS
- DEPRIVATION AND SATIATION
- AVERSION, AVOIDANCE, ANXIETY
- FUNCTION VERSUS ASPECT
- THE ANALYSIS OF COMPLEX CASES
SECTION III: THE INDIVIDUAL AS A WHOLE
- PRIVATE EVENTS IN A NATURAL SCIENCE
- THE SELF SECTION
SECTION IV: THE BEHAVIOR OF PEOPLE IN GROUPS
- SOCIAL BEHAVIOR
- PERSONAL CONTROL
- GROUP CONTROL
SECTION V: CONTROLLING AGENCIES
- GOVERNMENT AND LAW
- ECONOMIC CONTROL
SECTION VI: THE CONTROL OF HUMAN BEHAVIOR
- CULTURE AND CONTROL
- DESIGNING A CULTURE
- THE PROBLEM OF CONTROL
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