Posts Tagged ‘DOn’t Feed the Animals’

Modern Welfare: Differential Reinforcement of Dependent Behavior

March 20, 2014

Modern Welfare: Differential Reinforcement of Dependent Behavior

As a practicing psychologist I commonly encounter clients who are on various welfare programs. Many, not all, are certain to remain on welfare for a very long time…even a life-time.

Many need this support, some could get schooling and eventually work (but most just talk about it), a few are blatantly scamming the welfare system and working tax payers.

When any society gives people significant amounts of money and other material benefits for doing nothing, the Laws and Principles of Psychology dictate that increasing proportions of the population will become dependent upon such hand-outs. In more technical terms if you provide individuals with positive reinforcement contingent upon doing nothing, they will learn to do nothing…other than engage in frivolous forms of self-stimulation and become dependent upon governmental “non-contingent” reinforcement.

You may wish to see an earlier blog that I did on this topic: “Don’t Feed the Animals: It Will Make Them Dependent”.

A recent report by the Cato Institute has demonstrated, that in many states, those who receive full welfare benefits will actually make more than those working for minimum wage. Even for those who do not make more than those who work, the additional hassles and costs (child care, clothes, transportation, and inconvenience), make it likely that they will choose to remain on welfare and not go to work.

The 1996 work-requirements that became a part of America’s welfare system has generally become increasingly lenient with many exemptions now available. The results of this administrative back-sliding are perfectly predictable.

Psychology’s Law of Effect states that consequences control behavior…What more do you need to know?

The following Cato Institute article is short and clear. I hope you will read it  and it on to others.

VTM,  3/20/14

P.S. Thanks to Lee Hornack for informing me of this article.

Rewarding Dependent Behavior and America’s Decline

February 7, 2014

Rewarding Dependent Behavior and America’s Decline

A search of the internet will find many “Do Not Feed The Animals!” signs.

Some signs will even go beyond this simple command and provide the reasons why it is bad to feed the animals: “It will make them dependent”; “because they get dependent on handouts and stop fending for themselves”; and “Bears, alligators, and other animals can get aggressive even after one food reward”.

It should come as no surprise that animals will get dependent upon the hand that feeds them. So why should it be any different for human humans?  

In the case above, not only is dependent behavior being directly rewarded, but something more subtle is also operational.  Psychology’s Matching law predicts that when two or more schedules of rewards are available, but cannot be responded to at the same time, the rate of responding on each schedule tends to nearly match the rate of rewards available on each schedule.

The Matching Law has been used to explain foraging patterns of animals in the wild. I will grant you that it is an imperfect extrapolation from these studies of animals in the wild to human animals responding to welfare opportunities rather than market labor opportunities. But something very similar ordinarily  happens within populations of sociocultures.

Ease, effort, convenience, and certainty-of -reward for work done all play into the human behavior patterns. For example, I live in a wooded area and a very large oak tree is threatening to fall on the corner of my home. The “tree surgeon” came to estimate the cost or removing this tree shortly after a major storm knocked down many trees in my area.

After a short inspection he stated that he would prefer not to take the tree down because it would be very difficult to get to in our back yard and it was a very large and challenging tree to manage. He kindly and apologetically said: “its like going into the farm yard to pick a chicken for dinner and they all have two legs except one”. He asked, with a smile, “which one ya gonna pic?!” The law of least effort was wonderfully illustrated in this simple statement and so were the mechanisms of natural selection and the “survival of the fittest”!

The tree is still standing, leaving my gene pool in the cross hairs of the mechanisms of natural selection! I must now resist the seductive attraction of the law of least effort.

We need to discuss the interesting warning about aggression that a minority of such signs provide.

Psychological research has demonstrated a strong tendency of animals to lash-out and become aggressive when they experience frustration and/or pain. This will not happen with every human animal.  But the probability of elicited aggression is greatly increased within a population under these conditions.

Also,  psychological research has demonstrated that animals accustomed to being very frequently rewarded for some behavior (technically called “continuous reinforcement”, CRF, or a “thick schedule”) are very likely to become aggressive when the rewards are stopped suddenly. This is called extinction-produced aggression or, when frustration and anger result without aggression, it is called extinction-produced emotional behavior.

Perhaps you will recognize the behavioral/cultural corollaries in the recent population rioting in Great Britain, France and Greece.

These societies have incrementally increased welfare “entitlements” (rewards for doing very little) to more and more citizens until the tax payers can no longer afford them. When cuts to these entitlements must finally be made, due to a growing dependent population, we normally see characteristic extinction-produced emotional and aggressive behaviors within that population in the form or rioting.

A volcano of riotous social chaos is building in America and it may already too late to stop our bad social/political welfare and entitlement policies that feed it.

Wake-up America and Vote the Progressive-Socialists in both parties out-of-office!

VTM, 2/7/14

“Don’t Feed The Animals: It Will Make Them Dependent”

January 23, 2014

“Don’t Feed The Animals: It Will Make Them Dependent”

We have seen these signs in parks and wild-life areas around America.

However, it has become politically incorrect, and therefore socially punished in various ways, to oppose our rapidly growing welfare State.

The perfectly predictable results of this non-contingent largess is stunningly represented in the radio interview below. Do not miss it!

This radio interview will illustrate the obvious: humans behave like all other animals when they are given sustenance and material wealth free from any work requirements.

How could it be any different. Humans are either vegetables, minerals or animals. There are no other categories.

I consider America’s rapidly growing welfare state to be the traitorous work of crypto Marxists and socialists who tax the working class to provide sustenance and material wealth to a growing population of undereducated, unproductive, and useless citizens. A growing percent of this socially entropic population are barbarians: they kill, rape, and pillage helpless working and/or law-abiding citizens.

We all understand and respect the need to help those who cannot work for various mental, physical or age-related reasons. But these are vastly different conditions than the ones addressed above.

As our treasonous politicians cultivate their own highly dependent and largely ignorant constituency, they are destroying America in order to achieve their own personal aggrandizement and influence.

They must be removed from power or all is lost.

VTM, 1/23/14

Thanks to Steven Breunling for sending this radio interview to me.

“Please Do Not Feed The Animals, They May Grow Dependent”

March 4, 2012

Please Do Not Feed The Animals, They May Grow Dependent”

"The Major Difference between Genius and Stupidity --- is Genius has
 its Limitations". 
"Isn't It Ironic? The food stamp program, part of the Department of 
Agriculture, is pleased to be distributing the greatest amount 
of food stamps ever". 
"Meanwhile, the Park Service, also part of the Department of Agriculture, 
asks us to "please do not feed the animals" because the animals may 
grow dependent and not learn to take care of themselves". 
I thank former high school classmate, John Plume, for sending this message to me. 
This is but one illustration of American Governmental psychotic thinking.
VTM, 3/4/12

%d bloggers like this: