Cognition, Creativity, and Behavior: Selected Essays

By Robert Epstein | Go to book overview

19
WHY THE DEVOTION TO BEHAVIORISM?

Summary. When a movement fails, its constituents often retrench and change its focus. Such was the fate of early behaviorism, which was transformed from a movement to reform psychology into a greatly elaborated "school of philosophy"--the theodicy, in effect, of the failed movement.

Recent commentaries on the proposal to create a new field called "praxics" ( Leigland, 1985; Malagodi & Branch, 1985) made me remember something. In recent papers I have argued, as others have before me, that we should establish a new science of behavior under a new Greek name. The science, I have claimed, must and indeed will break free of the ism that helped to inspire it. It must also separate from psychology, which is the study of mind, and align itself more closely with kindred natural sciences.

But Branch, Leigland, and Malagodi were not entirely persuaded, especially by the distinction I have drawn between praxics and behaviorism. Behaviorism, or at least radical behaviorism, they said, is vital to the study of behavior.

Why the devotion to the ism? (Isms, of course, inspire devotion, and that is part of the problem.)


MOVEMENTS

At first glance, behaviorism, whatever the flavor, would appear to be nothing more than an old and rather desiccated movement for reform in psychology. Certainly, that is the way most outsiders view it. For many years it was little more than a whipping boy; now many prominent psychologists just ignore it. The mission of behaviorism was to replace psychology's traditional and etymological subject matter with a new one. Etymology prevailed.

But the behaviorism to which Branch et al. referred is clearly something more than a desiccated movement. The movement failed and, in failing, it became something else.

-189-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Cognition, Creativity, and Behavior: Selected Essays
Table of contents

Table of contents

Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this book
  • Bookmarks
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
/ 362

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.