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By John A. Mills

Behaviorism was once the dominant strength within the production of recent American psychology, and it keeps to undergird the sector to this present day. on the other hand, a whole knowing of the complexity of behaviorism has remained elusive. Its dominance inside of American psychology has, mockingly, blocked our efforts to appreciate its function and its nature. keep watch over serves as an antidote to this ancient myopia, offering the most Read more...

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If we define our terms op­ erationally and then establish that smothering love induces ambiva­ lence and incipient withdrawal, then Smedslund would say that we 18 | Introduction have done no more than needlessly confirm what had already been es­ tablished by a semantic analysis of the language of common sense. Given the logical problems inherent in the use of productive oper­ ational definitions, we can ask why their use became not just widespread in psychology but an integral part of the nature of empirical research in the discipline.

Given that understanding, it follows that bonding must be reciprocal. If a mother has strongly bonded with her child and the child does not love her in return, we ask what it is about the maternal love that has induced the adverse reaction in the child (is the mother dutiful but cold, is the love she prof­ fers smothering rather than nurturing, and so on). Smedslund would argue that in such cases we base our conclusions primarily on a scrutiny of the meaning of the explanatory terms we are using (a part of the meaning of smothering love, for example, is that it induces am­ bivalence and a need to escape in the child).

It was assumed that those techniques that produced an experimental effect would induce the same behavioral disposition in all the subjects in the treatment group. Mere common sense should have told experimental psychologists that, without some sort of inde­ pendent check, the conclusion was unwarranted. A given procedure could conceivably have been ineffective for some subjects, induced amusement in others, hostility in yet others, and so on. Many psy­ chologists might reply that intersubject variability would express itself as statistical error, whereas intersubject consistency would express itself in the treatment effect.

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