Posts Tagged ‘punishment’

“Shaping” New Socialists in America

April 5, 2019

“Shaping” New Socialists in America.

In psychology we call all that follows, the “Differential Reinforcement of Successive Approximations”, or “Shaping”, for short. You need to know about this because it is the method that socialist/communist revolutionaries are using to transform America.

Shaping is a technical term that refers to a procedure in which a desired end-state behavior pattern that is not present in someone, or in this case, a population of someone’s….slowly becomes prominent.

At the beginning of the procedure, any action that even remotely resembles the desired end-state behavior pattern is rewarded. As part of this approach, behavior that is incompatible, or competing with with the desired end-state behavior pattern. is not rewarded. The lack of rewards for non-desired behaviors reduces the frequency of occurrence of those behavior patterns, while the rewarded behavior patterns increase in frequency. 

It is often useful to combine measures of frequency with units of time. It is appropriate to call an increase of frequency of some behavior pattern in a fixed unit of time, an increased rate of that behavior pattern.

While shaping a behavior pattern, punishment can be added for incompatible or competing behavior in the form of social censure, legal persecution, material/financial loss, imprisonment, the administration of pain (torture), or threats of all of the previous and other forms of aversive treatment. The addition of punishment for unwanted behavior patterns can speed-up the shaping progress. But, if the punishments are too intense, or too often used, they can cause individuals and populations to rebel and counter-aggress against the shapers. Much as America did during its revolution against Great Britain.

Skilled shapers provide rewards to individuals or populations following the desired behavior patterns, at each of a series of successive steps, until the desired end-state behavior patterns happen at acceptable rates of occurrence. 

The shaping procedure is like atomic energy: It is neither moral or immoral, it is amoral. Its morality is determined by the uses to which it is applied as well as its produced outcomes.

It is best that this “shaping of behavior” process move in small steps and at a reasonably slow pace, over a some workable period of time. If punishment is used along the the teaching way is is best used very sparingly and ideally, not at all. 

It is important to note that if this process moves along successfully; individual’s or populations of individual’s thoughts, beliefs and attitudes will normally also changed in support of the the learned end-state behavior patterns.

Many other psychological laws and principles will be concurrently embedded within the procedure of shaping. However, they are too numerous and complex to describe here and unnecessary to understand the main message of this blog.

But, please understand the following:

  • Many socialist/ communist revolutionary’s have learned how to skillfully employ this shaping method.
  • They understand that revolution using primarily punishment, at the point-of-a-gun, and  the harsh control of populations can lead to counter aggression and counter-revolution against the shapers.
  • They know that it is most effective to target children and younger citizens, who’s behavior is more easily shaped in comparison to that of adults. 
  • They use many other psychological principles to influence the actions, thoughts, beliefs and attitudes of the young. 
  • If done well, the shaping method will likely lead to pacified and dramatically changed population’s preference patterns in favor of its own changing behavior patterns.

It is important to understand this: Socialists/communists and their allies have been shaping the population of America away from its founding behavior patterns, beliefs, and attitudes towards their own for many decades. Tragically, this shaping procedure  is working exactly the way the science of psychology predicts that it will!

Finally, understand that when socialist/communist behavior and preference patterns are shaped in a young population, within a Democratic Republic such as our own, all that is needed for great success, is that “the shapers” have success with only a  determinant percent of the voting population.

Know also, that the youthful population, over-time, will out-reproduce the aging generation. This is also true of youthful immigrant populations. These parenting generations will likely teach their children their own behavior patterns, beliefs and attitudes. 

There is much more to the Psychology of America’s Decline, but that is for my future blogs.

Wake-Up America! But it may already be too late.

I want to thank my dear friend Howard Hawkin’s for sending these displays to me; thus inspiring me to put them in a science of psychology context.

V. Thomas Mawhinney, Ph.D., 4/4/19

Professor Emeritus of Psychology and Health Services Provider in Psychology




Influencing Behavior: Rewarding Consequences and Values

January 27, 2011

Influencing Behavior: Rewarding Consequences and Values

Thanks to Bruce Bryner for sending this wonderful video collection to me.  It best illustrates that human behavior is controlled by consequences. This is one  of psychology’s major Laws. It further illustrates that using rewards (positive reinforcers as consequences for behavior that we wish to see happen more often in the future is the way to go).

Beyond this, the traffic control videos show that for some behaviors, a combination of punishment for infractions and rewards for compliance are needed. It should be known that the over-use of punishment without strong rewards for incompatible behavior normally has bad outcomes for the punished and the punisher.

Finally, all tapes illustrate that to implement systematic consequences that will influence behaviors in desirable ways, it is necessary for groups or sociocultures to organize themselves around common values and morals (i.e., it is good to follow speed limits it is bad to speed; it is good to put trash in its proper receptacles; it is bad to pollute the environment; etc.).

Want some fun?

What to see some ways to help ourselves behave better by having fun?

Watch the following videos.

V. Thomas Mawhinney, Ph.D.

Consequences Control!

December 14, 2009

Consequences Control!  

There are at least three levels of influence or selection by consequences that affect the lives of humans. The first is natural selection; the second is behavioral selection; and the third is cultural selection.

 Psychology’s Law of Effect (consequences control the future frequencies of behavior), is operational at all levels of our existence. The influence of consequences on our behavior are so pervasive and commonplace that we fail to see and appreciate one of the most important and controlling forces of life: Consequences powerfully shape our biological, psychological, and social existence. What we also fail to recognize, appreciate, and use wisely is that we; through our own cultural practices, significantly determine how and what consequences will affect our own biological, psychological and social existence.

 Natural Selection

 In natural selection, the biological existence of species are determined by their ability to interact with their physical environment effectively. As creatures behave within various environments (enriched and supportive or harsh and barren), the environments select certain species, or certain physical and genetic features within species, into and out-of existence. This natural selection process is called phylogenetic selection, or phylogenesis. Phylogenetic selection occurs throughout the life-span of all species. The environment “shapes” biological and biologically based behavioral adaptations by “reinforcing” them with food, water, warmth, escape from predators, and increased reproduction rates, etc.. The environment may also reduce or eliminate certain biological and biologically based behavioral adaptations by “withholding” these essential reinforcers and weakening or “extinguishing” them. That is, the creatures and their gene pool do not survive to propagate.

This phylogenetic process is well documented and its mechanisms bear a marked similarity to the psychological principles of selection-by-consequences (reinforcement, punishment, and extinction) that “shape” the behavior of individuals within their own life-times.

 Behavioral Selection

 The scientific term for behavioral influences within the life-span of individuals is ontogenetic selection, or ontogenesis. A great many of the behavioral similarities and differences between the billions of people on planet earth are caused by more than genetic differences. The experiences that each individual has had in their own culture coping with their own physical and social environments will yield vast differences in the ways that their personal behavior patterns have been shaped by the basic principles of reinforcement, schedules of reinforcement, punishment and extinction.

 Cultural Selection

 Cultures are behavioral in nature. The physical, geographical, and population of a society exists in a particular place in time. These things are easily observed. But a society’s culture refers to the rules, mores and folkways, sanctions, and the combined behavior patterns and practices of its population. A society may exist in an identifiable form for a very long time, but its culture may change so dramatically over time that the older cultural practices are replaced by dramatically different new ones. Consequences strengthen or weaken cultural practices and consequences select sociocultures in, or out of, existence. A passive and peaceful culture may live until the barbarians invade it. An agrarian culture may prosper until it depletes its soil of nutrients. A nomadic culture in the Amazon basin may prosper until its forest is destroyed by entrepreneurs, then the nomadic culture may disappear.

Cultures do not exist forever. Some live long and well, only to slowly weaken and evolve into vestiges of their former selves (i.e., early Greece and Rome, or perhaps our own Western Culture). Some cultures disappear entirely (Incas, Aztecs and Maya). And some mini-subcultures flicker for only moments in history before they die (i.e., the suicides of Reverend Jim Jones and his subculture in Guyana, South America in 1978 and the Heaven’s Gate Cult of Santiago, California in 1997). Sociocultures are often selected-in or selected-out by the immediate and delayed social and physical consequences of their own actions.

The consequences of self-destructive cultural evolutions will further weaken citizen’s ability to produce competent and emotionally healthy children. These children will likely be even less competent, as parents, than their own parents were, and the downward cycle will accelerate. In short, if a culture fails to teach its children the beliefs and behaviors necessary to perpetuate that socioculture, it begins to weaken and may eventually collapse.

Self-destructive sociocultures will not be reinforced with continued viability. This eventuality results because a world of essential sociocultural reinforcers will be unavailable to them. The natural laws of the universe dictate that if a culture fails to teach its children to obtain food, it will starve; if it fails to teach its children to love and care for children, future children will be neglected, abused and become even more dysfunctional than past generations; if it does not teach relevant intellectual skills, future citizens will be ignorant; if children are not taught to work hard and invent, economic failure will follow; and if children are not taught to love and defend their culture and its beliefs, they will be overrun and dominated by other cultures. Other losses will also be in evidence: freedom from the fear of crime, the ability to cope with international aggression, and the ability to care for the incompetent, sick and old. Cultural behaviors that lead to these outcomes will not enjoy the reinforcing consequences of continued success in our world.

The psychological principles of reinforcement, punishment, and extinction are intricately involved in our outcomes at all three levels of selection by consequences. How skillful we and our socioculture are at using these behavior principles to strengthen and maintain adaptive behavior patterns will determine our evolutionary success or failure.

A socioculture that fails to educate its young; fails to teach them to avoid early sex or pregnancy without the means to raise and care for their babies; fails to teach them to avoid inebriates and violence; and fails to teach them a strong set of culture sustaining morals and values, etc., will set the stage for its own incompetence, decline and eventual failure.

V. Thomas Mawhiney, Ph.D.   12/14/09

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