Posts Tagged ‘Psychology’s Law of Effect’

America’s Black Dilemma #2

September 9, 2015

America’s Black Dilemma #2

If you have not read my previous post on America’s Black Dilemma, it is important that you do in order to understand what now follows in my second post on this topic.

When I first read this article, I immediately recalled the following Biblical quote.  This passage has always stuck with me since my youth. I am no Biblical scholar and there appear to be Biblical statements that are in conflict with the one I remember so clearly.

But, if there ever was a mega-example of the following quote about God’s consequences for bad behavior, it would appear to relate America’s Black Dilemma.

From the Bible: Exodus 34:7English Standard Version (ESV)

7″ keeping steadfast love for thousands,[a] forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, but who will by no means clear the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children and the children’s children, to the third and the fourth generation.”

Yet, it is illogical to me that a forgiving and benevolent God would endlessly punish both those who have been sinned against (the American Black population) and also, endlessly, the children of the sinners (the American slave owners), who have worked for generations to atone-for and correct the original sin of enslaving the blacks.

In the article, The Black Dilemma, it is stated in the 9th paragraph that “nothing changes no matter how much money is spent,” etc., etc..

Well, if the science of psychology can teach America anything, it should be that it is not the amount of money spent that will ever change a population’s behavior problems, it is rather how the money is spent.

My following previous blog will explain exactly what I mean by this statement.

It will also set the record straight regarding The Black Dilemma article’s overly negative assessment of America’s lack-of-progress in race relations.

Another matter is in need of clarification:

In paragraph 9, the author states: “Some argue its a problem of culture, as if culture creates people, in stead of the other way around”.

This is clearly a wrong and gross-oversimplification of an amazingly complex process with a simple name: Cultural Evolution.

Culture and its various evolution’s, or changes, is a fiendishly  complex matter. To say that culture creates people is correct, but to say that people create culture is correct.

In fact, culture and the people’s behavior it generates are part of an ever-changing cycle of mutually interacting and determining forces involving the changing environment, the changing behaviors of the people (including their technology, sociopolitical practices and various other traditions), and the effects that all of this has upon the changing behaviors, sociopolitical practices, technologies and various traditions of their future generations. Now, add the effects of various other external forces such as war and people from other cultures immigrating into the culture under study and the complexity of countless bi-directional determinants (causal positive and negative feedback loops) among the receiving culture’s infrastructure, structure and superstructure become  mind-boggling.

The explanation, prediction and control of these phenomena remain one of Behavioral Science’s greatest challenges.

Never-the less, the article America’s Black Dilemma (no matter the author) confronts us all with some truths about America and its lack of full recovery from its historical enslavement of black populations

Sadly, however, the main truth is missed: As discussed in my second blog citation above, if a culture rewards bad  behavior, it will experience increased rates of bad behavior within its population. This is a true non-technical statement derived from Psychology’s Law of Effect.

This statement will remain true, no matter the race or culture of the population under study.

V. Thomas Mawhinney, Ph.D.


I Wonder If I Am A Libertarian # 9

July 3, 2013

Key Concepts of Libertarianism


David Boaz

January 1, 1999


The key concepts of libertarianism have developed over many centuries. The first inklings of them can be found in ancient China, Greece, and Israel; they began to be developed into something resembling modern libertarian philosophy in the work of such seventeenth- and eighteenth-century thinkers as John Locke, David Hume, Adam Smith, Thomas Jefferson, and Thomas Paine.

Natural Harmony of Interests. Libertarians believe that there is a natural harmony of interests among peaceful, productive people in a just society. One person’s individual plans — which may involve getting a job, starting a business, buying a house, and so on — may conflict with the plans of others, so the market makes many of us change our plans. But we all prosper from the operation of the free market, and there are no necessary conflicts between farmers and merchants, manufacturers and importers. Only when government begins to hand out rewards on the basis of political pressure do we find ourselves involved in group conflict, pushed to organize and contend with other groups for a piece of political power.

Like children fighting for parental attention.

End of quote.

This is a face-valid idea, if there ever was one.

When there are limited valuable resources animals (humans are animals) compete for them.

If there is no rule of law, those that can physically dominate others do so to get “the spoils of war”.

If there are prominent and powerfully enforced rules of law, a small and stingy government, and an active free market, people tend to compete peacefully within the market place. There, creative and hard-working individuals get rewarded, consumers get rewarded, the government gets rewarded (i.e., tax-base grows), and those who lose in the competition are encouraged to try other ideas that might be more successful in the competition.

Under these conditions, competition yields rewarding outcomes for almost everyone and provides corrective feedback to those who need to change their competitive strategies.

Only when the “government begins to hand out rewards on the basis of political pressure do we find ourselves involved in group conflict, pushed to organize and contend with other groups for a piece of political power”.

This is also true when political action groups rant, rage, and tantrum to our politicized legal system, for support of their preferred life-styles, rather appealing for changes in prevailing social attitudes and social acceptance for their so-called, self-proclaimed rights (abortion, Gay Marriage, legalized drugs, Gays in the military, etc.)

Psychology’s Law of Effect predicts that whatever behaviors a social/political or economic system rewards, will increase in rate of occurrence. If we reward greater magnitudes of some action (say political unrest and destructive protests), greater magnitudes of that behavior will increase in rate of occurrence. Our ignorance of this information is stunning. It should have been taught in our grade schools

There should be no surprise that when judicial and political systems begin to reward those who strongly compete for their favors, large segments of our population begin to flap, squawk and crap like a bunch of hungry seagulls fighting for a few precious morsels of food that are hand-tossed high into the air amongst them.

Do yourself a favor. Take some time and do a fun experiment; go feed the seagulls and you will see exactly what I mean.

VTM, 7/3/13

Psychology’s Law of Effect: America Has It Bassackwards!

January 13, 2013

Psychology’s Law of Effect: America Has It Bassackwards!

Psychology’s Law of Effect states that “Consequences Control Behavior”.  When it comes to the survival of cultures, the Law of Effect cannot be broken without breaking and eventually destroying the culture.

The more who are rewarded for not working, the more who will not work! Only fools, socialists, “progressives” and communists would design such a socioculture.

So it now is with America. 

Watch the following and then please use your voting power to save America!

VTM, 1/13/13

P.S., Thanks to Lee Hornack for sending this video to me.

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