Posts Tagged ‘Social Learning Theory’

Education In Oakland: @#%@!!

October 26, 2019

Education In Oakland: @#%@!!

Look-Out for radical liberals/leftists/socialists and their public systems of education. 

All citizens need to read this article and take the time to watch Oakland California teachers and parents behaviors at a school board meeting.

Be sure not to miss the large frame video about half way through the article! Just click on “continue reading”.

California is often “credited” for producing cultural trends that spread through the rest of America.

We had better hope that this reputation becomes a thing of the past.

Please note that parents and teachers are protesting schools of choice. They are also protesting about so many students being sent to “reform school” settings.

It is not hard to see and understand why reform school settings are needed for so many of their students.

Just watch the actions of their parents and teachers!

Research Psychologists have documented a very powerful influences on learning (I.e., expectations, beliefs, values, emotions and behaviors). We call this influence Modeling and Imitation.

Perhaps you recall grandma’s old saying, “Monkey see, monkey do”.

Psst…..We are the monkeys!

Now, don’t get your “undies in a bundle” over my use of an old American common saying. Yes, I know we are not monkeys. Nor are we birds (I.e., “Birds of a feather flock together”).

Also, You can be sure that race and ethnicity have nothing to do with the basic mechanisms of learning to which I make partial reference.

America had better face the facts that our citizens learn in ways very similar to the ways other animals do; and sadly, we are not as smart as we think we are when it comes to managing our own behavior.

V. Thomas Mawhinney, Ph.D., 10/26/19

VIDEO: Melee at Oakland school board meeting as teachers jump barrier, clash with cops

Legalized Prostitution: Sex Robots Lead the Way

January 1, 2019

Legalized Prostitution: Sex Robots Lead the Way.

Prostitution is illegal in every state in America, except Nevada. You might find it interesting to review the state and federal laws against Prostitution. Please see below.

You should know that prostitution, like gambling, pornography and recreational drugs were outlawed for good reasons. They were once called “vices” because they ruin families, businesses and individual’s lives. Separately each of these legalized activities is a great cost to society that should supersede hedonistic quests for more personal pleasures. Taken together, I judge that their synergistic costs to America are, or soon will be, disastrous.

On a strongly related matter: “technological determinism” is a term used by those who wish to illustrate how advancing technology shapes the perceptions, thoughts, beliefs, emotions and behaviors of populations within civilizations. When perceptions, thoughts, beliefs, emotions and behaviors change they can spread through populations via well-known biopsychosocial scientific laws and principles.  I call these laws and principles the mechanisms of change. I call the changes they cause within populations, behavioral contagion. The effects of behavioral contagion can be good or bad for populations, cultures, and societies.

Technological determinism is only one important source of the many summating and multiplicative changes in societies that, when viewed at-large, are identified as cultural evolution. Behavioral contagion is an important component of many chains of causes (war, depletion of resources, disease, natural disasters, religion changes, technological developments, politics and more) that drive good and bad cultural evolutions. Therefore, behavioral contagion can also be an important force in the rise and decline of civilizations. Changing and even clashing subcultures can easily be observed in societies.

Unfortunate, the workings of the biopsychosocial mechanisms that drive behavioral contagion for better and for worse, are not easily observed. In fact, from what I can tell almost everyone is oblivious to them. Even most scientists that I know do not think much about their involvement in sociocultural evolution and the survival value of  societies

The video below is a perfect example, among countless others, of technological innovations that can catalyze destructive forms of behavioral contagion in America.

The following  video is only soft-pornography But, I warn you that your own imagination will rapidly convert it to XXX rated hardcore-pornography. If you are offended by this video, and your own naturally occurring imagination, I will invite you to “grow-up” and face reality. You will have to politically defend against this reality, or you and your loved ones will be hurt to varying degrees by it.

Psychology is very much at play in this robotic example of technological determinism, its resulting behavioral contagion, and also resulting cultural evolutions will likely produce . I will explain in brief.

All animals are generally influenced by the same Psychological laws and principles. One of these principles is the Law of Effect. This law states that behaviors that produces rewards for individuals will normally cause them to repeat the same behaviors more often in the future. These behavior patterns, with repeated rewarding consequences, can become deeply ingrained within the in individuals and greatly increase in future frequency. Such high rates of behaviors have, in lay language, been called “psychological addictions”. When the rewards are actually biologically addicting, both psychological and physiological addictions present concurrent problems to individuals, families, businesses, etc., and entire societies. The psychologist B. F. Skinner researched and promulgated these laws and principles he called Operant Conditioning and Learning.

Basic Laws of Association increase the likelihood that stimuli, perceptions, thoughts, beliefs, emotions and behaviors that occur together with individuals will be psychologically linked together and will be more likely to occur together more often in the future. If the stimuli are closely associated with pleasure, individuals will be more likely to be motivated to work to produce them more often in the future. Conversely, the stimuli, perceptions, thoughts, beliefs, emotions and actions are closely associated with pain or discomfort will be more likely to be escaped and avoided. Ivan Pavlov’s discovery of Classical (Respondent) Conditioning helped psychologist to understand how, for better or worse, new learned (conditioned) emotions and reflexes can be learned in humans and other animals. 

The Principle of Least Effort often leads to people and other animals seeking the least effortful ways to obtain their rewards and the least effortful ways to escape or avoid pain and discomfort. The implications for sex with robots as opposed to all that one must do to find and retain sexual partners should be clear. The more realistic the sexual robots become the more powerful their attractiveness is likely to become.

It is critically to note that behavioral scientists have demonstrated that humans and other animals are generally highly motivated get their rewards more immediately, more frequently and in larger magnitudes.  

Albert Bandura, conducted important research into the psychological field of Social Learning Theory. There are a great many social influences upon perceptions, thoughts, beliefs, emotions and behaviors the individuals within societies. These influences include all of the previous laws and principles, and more. These influences are spread through language, written words, popular media, and the imitation of other’s behaviors that are perceived in some fashion. All of this presents another level of complexity of influences upon individual’s perceptions, thoughts, beliefs, emotions and behaviors.  The principles of social learning theory present countless other avenues of behavioral contagion with good or bad effects upon individuals, cultures and societies.

All of this, and much more, is part of human and animal nature.

Historically, in Western Civilization Judeo/Christian religion’s stimuli, perceptions, thoughts, beliefs, emotions, behaviors and sacred values have militated against bad behavioral contagion. Also, Western Civilization’s, more’s, folkways and governmental laws; largely based upon these religious values, punished the spread of bad behaviors within the populations. All of this and the population’s own social controls (encouragement, praise, material rewards; or, criticism, social censure, rejection and physical punishment) also militated against bad behavioral contagion and strengthened good behavioral contagion. 

Finally, it is now increasingly clear that genetics is a very important factor in the inheritance of tendencies towards a host of diseases, both physical and psychological; as well as a number of personality features that often produce maladaptive behaviors in individuals. 

All of this provides fodder for the behavioral contagion of bad or good outcomes for individuals, culture and society. 

Perhaps you are beginning to understand that psychology is one of our most important sciences and technologies for future human social and political survival. 

Finally, please note that all levels of America’s governments have been suppressing the power of Judeo/Christian influences. Also, our corrupt governments  have been legalizing the behaviors that were formerly labeled as sinful and illegal. Governments are doing this in order to augment their tragically depleted revenues. Governmental revenues horrifically depleted by unprincipled spending designed to secure a dependent electorate dedicated to furthering politician’s personal wealth and political power. 

Sex robots are perfect technological symbols of secular post-modern nations now in steep decline.

Will America be one of these?

V. Thomas Mawhinney, Ph.D.

Health Services Provider in Psychology

Professor Emeritus of Psychology, Indiana University South Bend


For more “Big Picture” thinking, I invite you to study two of my professional publications below. There I detail a few (just a few) of the determinants of human behavior, cultural evolution and potentially the rise and decline of civilizations.

Also, you undoubtedly note that I have not specified what is good or bad behavior, or good and bad behavioral contagion. I invite you to think about your own value judgments about these matters. However, I ask that you put these judgments within the context of the biopsychosocial laws and principles discussed in this blog. If you wish to know my own thoughts on this difficult matter, you will find them in my publications below.



Fixing America’s Corrupt Congress: Term-Limits #2b

September 11, 2016

Fixing America’s Corrupt Congress: Term-Limits #2b

If you have read my other blogs in this particular series, you may choose to skip reading my lenthy introduction. I have repeated it for each of my blogs on this topic because some may read the several installments in this series separately and even out-of-order. My introduction provides information about the value of Term Limits from a psychological perspective.

The title of this blog on Term Limits asserts that Term-Limits are an important partial cure for  a Corrupt American Congress.

In order move to assertion # 2 in the title, that Term-Limits are a fix, it is important to provide evidence of assertion #1, that our Congress is corrupt.

I am a psychologist, not a political scientist. Therefore I will draw heavily on the writings of those who are experts on this matter and also the intricate workings of our complex government that are shaped by the various financial, political and social influences that forcefully impinge upon it.

As a psychologist, I was taught that there is no such thing as human nature. After 36 years a professor and concurrent practicing psychologist, I must assert that there definitely is something that deserves to be called “human nature”. The thoughts, perceptions, emotions and behaviors of human-beings are heavily determined by the Laws and Principles of Psychology. Of these, there are too many to discuss in this context. However, it is our characteristic great susceptibility to these influences that I view as human nature.

Any modern Introductory College Psychology Textbook will help establish the validity of what I am stating. We now know more about the determinants of our own behavior than ever before and most of our population, including those who serve in our governments are ignorant of what makes all of us behave as we do.

With regard to the application of principles of psychology to the design of a better socioculture, we remain in a primitive state.

What is considered by many psychologists as the premier Law of psychology, constantly shaping human behavior, is the “Law of Effect”. This law can be simply stated: “consequences control behavior”. 

Speaking non-technically, the lack of rewards; the presence of rewards; or the presence of punishments following various human behaviors will influence the future probability (frequency, or rate of occurrence) of our behaviors. When we behave in certain ways and we are not rewarded, these behaviors tend to occur less frequently. When we behave in certain ways and we are rewarded, these behaviors occur with increased frequency. When we do certain things and our actions are followed by punishment, we tend to do these things less often.

Such changes in our behaviors are not perfectly certain to occur, in all individuals, under all circumstances. But statistically speaking, among our species, they are very likely to occur the ways that the science of psychology can easily predict.

There is much more to this picture, but the Law of Effect and its many influences upon everyone is a great place to start.

Corruption can be defined as dishonest or fraudulent conduct by those in power, normally involving some form of bribery to behave in unethical or illegal ways.

I know of no statistics on this matter. But, I am confident that there are many highly principled people who are very hard to corrupt. However, based upon my 55 years of adult observations (since 20 years of age), a great  many humans are easily corrupted. Furthermore, many citizens who live apparently moral and ethical lives have long been corrupted, but skillfully disguised this fact.

Now to the point: The politics of Congress (and politics in general) have evolved into a system of rewards and non-rewards, with very few punishments for bad behavior, that bring powerful corrupting forces to bear upon all of our elected servants. Of course, these forces have always been present. However, for many reasons, they have increased in both frequency of occurrence and magnitude in recent times. The result is, predictably, an increase in frequency and magnitude of corruption among our politicians.

Too many in Congress are strongly shaped into dishonest and/or fraudulent behavior patterns by those who have the power to reward them with glory and fame, political longevity, sexual favors, money, blocks of voters, lucrative consulting or business opportunities, and the ability to vote themselves various privileges, comforts, and recreational rewards, etc..

The recent actions of American politicians in-and-out of Congress should be enough to confirm my observations. However, if you are a skeptic please consider the following, which predates many of our more current examples of political corruption flooding the media.

At the end of this blog is the URL for an entire article that I will draw upon for short authoritative quotes in my series of blogs on this topic. I hope you will read this article in its entirety when you have the time.

Fixing America’s problems with political corruption will require the imposition of  Term-Limits.

The following is quoted from, Term Limits: The Only Way to Clean Up Congress, by Dan Greenberg of the Heritage Foundation.


Argument #2: There already is high congressional turnover.

Some opponents note the scores of new Members in the 103rd Congress, or predict that Members seated after 1990 will be the majority in the House after the November elections, in order to resist term limits. In fact, however, the large number of new faces in Congress results primarily from Members resigning or seeking other office. In the 1992 House races, over 88 percent of incumbents running for reelection were victorious, but incumbents typically fare much better even than that: the 1992 reelection rate was the lowest in two decades.

Even with a healthy influx of new Members, the seniority system allows entrenched Congressmen to control newcomers and encourages newcomers to behave like the long-term incumbents they replace. Until term limits force a change in the seniority system and in the incentives of new Congressmen, those who control the passage of legislation will remain in control for decades, not years, at a time. As noted above, while some turnover takes place every election, members of the congressional leadership have been in office for decades, and it is they who set the agenda; for example, Representative Jack Brooks, a 21-term representative who has been in office since the Truman Administration, as chairman of the House Judiciary Committee can routinely block term limit measures from coming to the floor for a vote.

VTM’s note: Social Learning Theory Principles of Modeling and Imitation document that those who are able to provide rewards, withhold them, or punish individuals with less power gain in their power as “models” for the less powerful to imitate.

Argument #3: Term limits will harm small states.

Some opponents argue that states with smaller populations (and thus fewer representatives in Congress) will be systematically disadvantaged by term limits; Democratic Senator Ernest Hollings of South Carolina, for instance, makes this argument on behalf of the Southern states. (See his “Term Limits: Beware the Yankee Conspiracy,” The State (Columbia, S.C.), May 22, 1994, p. D-3.) Historically, some smaller states have attempted to compensate for this by continually reelecting incumbents regardless of their views on issues in order to accumulate power through seniority. Without such seniority, goes the argument, smaller states will be at the mercy of states like California which, by virtue of their size, can send scores of representatives to Congress and are assured seats on numerous important committees.

Such an argument ignores the tremendous institutional changes that congressional term limits would trigger. Instead of confining important committee chairmanships and other positions of power to incumbents who have spent decades in office, term limits would shut down the seniority system. Important legislative positions would be assigned by merit and willingness to shoulder responsibilities. The infusion of new perspectives would cause legislative positions to rotate so frequently that it would be difficult for any one legislator to hold onto power long enough to abuse it. Furthermore, the central qualification by which candidates for Congress are judged would shift in a healthy direction, toward being a voice for sound federal policy and away from being a siphon from the federal treasury.


Quotes Source:

V. Thomas Mawhinney, Ph.D., 9/11/16

















Illegals “Surge” Over Border After Talk of Amnesty

November 25, 2014

Illegals “Surge” Over Border After Talk Of Amnesty

Who could have predicted this!?  Duhh…..

Only those with an ounce of common sense.

Common sense backed-up by the science of psychology. The science that our government is using against when ever they can.

How about Law of Effect? “Consequences Control Behavior”! How about almost all of the rewards of living in America for simply walking or swimming across our open boarders? All of this compared to the greatly deprived conditions in their homelands.

How about Social Learning Theory’s Modeling, Imitation and Vicarious Learning? People imitate others (models) when they see that the others’ particular behaviors being positively reinforced (roughly speaking, rewarded).

And there is more, but that is for another time.

See the documentation below:

V. Thomas Mawhinney, Ph.D., 11/25/14

Sexual Behavior: Genetics vs. Environment

November 21, 2014

Sexual Behavior: Genetics vs. Environment

The following article summarizes the findings of a recent study on the relationship between sexual orientation and genetic factors.

Research continues to support the likelihood that genetic influences may play a significant role in this complex matter.

I applaud the authors and a discussant for completely avoiding the politics of sexual behavior, so stridently and powerfully promulgated by various political action groups.

It is important that everyone stay informed of what science has to tell us about this contemporary issue . It is also very important to be clear that science can follow a long and highly conflicted road to what it considers to be the “truth”. Note that the word truth is  quotes and spelled with a small “t” and not a capital “T”.

In science what is currently thought to be possibly true, likely true, or even accepted as true, is always open to revision in the light of new findings.

The article emphasizes that the researcher: “stresses that complex traits such as sexual orientation depend on multiple factors, both environmental and genetic. Even if he has hit on individual genes, they will likely only have at most a small effect on their own, as has also been seen in studies of the genetic basis for intelligence, for example.”

Note that Chad Zawitz, M.D., also adds a similar precautionary note about genetics the environment and sexual orientation.

Please read the following article before you consider my remarks that follow it.

And what are the “other factors”  that may interact with genetics, or perhaps even function alone, to determine sexual orientation?

While there are other biological factors possible, there are also a myriad of environmental events that can “condition” (increase or decrease the strength of) a host of sexual reinforcers (roughly speaking, rewards).  Also, environmental events can increase and intensify the range of stimuli capable of eliciting sexual thoughts, emotions and reflexes . Clearly human sexual behaviors are influenced through well-researched principles of learning.

The following citations will provide an overview of the psychological principles to which I refer. Knowing these can benefit you and society, as a whole, in critically important ways.

Decades of scientific research has demonstrated that many sexual “appetites” of humans are highly conditionable (i.e., learnable), in comparison  to animals lower on the phylogenetic scale.

In other words the lower on the phylogenetic scale an animal is, the more their actions are controlled by their genetics. The higher an animal is on the phylogenetic scale, the more the environment influences their actions.

The vast majority of humans find sexual stimulation to be highly pleasurable and sexual stimulation in various private or social contexts can have a strong influence upon an individual’s sexual appetite and behaviors.

The following are a few probable examples that I have encountered in over 30 years of private practice.

  • A socially shy and isolated farm-hand learns to obtain his sexual pleasure with cows and sheep.
  • Teens and other individuals who masturbate while viewing pornography can acquire sexual  appetites for an amazingly vast array of sexual stimuli. They are also prone to fantasize about and imitate the behavior patterns that they witness.
  • Some children and adolescents, lovingly seduced by a peer or adult homosexual (or heterosexual) are may learn to prefer that form of sexuality. Of course many are traumatized by the experience and are at risk for significant emotional problems. Some may become hypersexual. Some may become avoidant of mature sexual relations or even become uncomfortable in normal social relationships.
  • Children  and adolescents who are forcibly sexually abused by homosexual or heterosexual peers or adults are at high risk for a variety of sexual adjustment problems. I have seen children abused in a homosexual context subsequently developing similar sexual appetites and then sexually abuse same sex children.
  • Children and teens suffering non-sexual physical and/or emotional abuse are at risk for a variety of psychological adjustment problems, which can also manifest in their sexual activities.
  • Teens and young adults with confused or fragile sexual identities can be socially pressured, befriended and welcomed into increasingly popular Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transexual clubs increasingly popular in high schools and colleges. Some may then be shaped by others into these forms of sexual behavior patterns.

From my psychological perspective, a society cannot expect anything but a dramatic increase in the variety, frequency and intensities of sexual appetites and behaviors when its youth is flooded pornographic depictions of florid sexual activities of every variety imaginable.

How could a psychologically sophisticated society expect otherwise?!

Sadly, America has not incorporated sound principles of psychology into its more recent political and social evolutions.

V. Thomas Mawhinney, Ph.D., 11/20/14

Health Services Provider In Psychology

Professor Emeritus of Psychology, Indiana University South Bend

American Social “Freedom” = Social Chaos = Cultural Decline

December 23, 2012

American Social “Freedom” = Social Chaos = Cultural Decline
The following remark is from Gonzo, a fellow blogger who is not afraid to think intelligently about various social issues. I hope you will read his remarks and my response to them. I judge that we are both spot-on regarding some of the problems with the cultural design of modern America. I encourage you to visit Gonzo’s blog. His address is included in my blog roll, on the bottom right side of my blog page.
The following is written by Gonzo:

I am, at best, an arm-chair quarterback when it comes to discussing sociological and psychological phenomenons. But I can’t help but wonder if the one avenue of thought might be better described as “conditioning”.

What conditioning toward violence are the following having on young minds, (young minds that grow to adulthood)?:

Violence on television, which has been increasing with regularity and realism. -Violence in movies, which has been increasing with regularity and realism. -Violence in music, which has been increasing 8 fold and is combined with messages of hate toward various groups of people. -Violence in games, which has been increasing in intensity and realism. -The increasing presence of psychotropic drugs which have interactions in the human mind in ways that still are not fully understood. -The growing and UNDISCLOSED list of everyday products that contain fluoride, a poison that is known to cause violent outbursts in some people. (In water supplies, dental products, multi-vitamins, huge doses in SSRI’s, many other pharma drugs, in our foods from fertilizers and pesticides, teas, vaccines, soda, milk, added to some processed foods, others). -Lack of other examples of dealing with conflict other than with violence.

Again, I may be wrong, but it seems that once the conditioning has been accomplished, that the next step is a trigger and opportunity. The sad reality is that people receive more conditioning from the aforementioned list than from sources such as examples of conflict management w/o violence, spirituality, forgiveness, etc.

We don’t need fewer guns, we need better conditioning on how to live as a peaceful people, engaged with one another, and living life with spiritual purpose. We also need awareness of the poisons affecting our lives, whether psychological or chemical, and truth in labeling.

End of Gonzo’s remarks.

My response follows:


Correct you are about the concept of conditioning! You have been doing a lot of good studying in your “arm-chair”.

The term is a correct and technical one for one form of learning that has to do with temporal association of stimuli, either Classical/Pavlovian or Operant in nature. These forms of learning indeed account for a great deal of the most important behaviors that we do to our physical environment and to our social environment. Broader in scope is Social Learning Theory, which also accounts for a great deal of important learning in humans. The many psychological principles in this field include modeling and imitation and other forms of vicarious learning. However, stimulus associations and conditioning are part of all of the forms of learning identified in humans.

I judge that virtually everything that psychology has discovered about human learning is operating against the welfare of America’s individuals and its culture as a result of legalized drugs, legalized pornography, and legalized gambling; Permissive standards on profanity, violence, and sex or sexual innuendo in the popular media; Liberalized marriage and divorce rules; Deinstitutionalization of  dangerous mental patients, liberalization of civil committment rules for the severely mentally ill, liberalized judicial and penal practices, liberalized child protection laws, liberalized educational practices, the governmental undermining of  spiritually based morality in all sectors of our society, and much more.

All of this, and much more, in America is best described as a culture of permissiveness. Some view this state of permissiveness as “freedom” for the individual, when actually it is a predicament of destructive social chaos. Under conditions of permissiveness most of the naturally occurring conditioning and learning principles tend to yield maladaptive behavior in individuals and cultural outcomes that are destructive to America’s survival.

The principles and mechanisms of this powerful process bad behavioral contagion are well understood, but America stupidly ignores them.

VTM,  12/23/12

Transgender Social Problems, Etc.: Good Luck America!!

March 22, 2012

Transgender Social Problems, Etc.: Good Luck America!

Following yesterdays blog on Gay Rights two individuals on my blog list wrote me and asked that I remove their name from my list. One called me closed-minded, intolerant and unChristian.

I guess that I just touched the “third rail” of our cultural revolution. Ninety-eight people read my blog yesterday perhaps. Perhaps more will email me and request to be removed from my blog list. I will immediately and respectfully do so .

I know it’s not easy to think aboutthis matter. But for those who support the purposeful social engineering of radically blurred traditional psychosexual roles, welcome to the social anarchy and chaos that awaits us in the 21 st. century.

There is a very big and powerful  learning mechanism studied by social psychologist called modeling and imitation. Put simply, we imitate what we see others do. Monkey see, monkey do— and we are the monkeys.

The gay and lesbian political movement trumpets that homosexual behavior is all biological. I would not be surprised if there were a genetic component in many who live an enduring homosexual life-style and there is some evidence to support that theory.

However, there is overwhelming evidence that sexual values and appetites are also conditionable and that their frequency of occurrence within a population can be learned by imitating others who prominently display their homosexual behaviors and values. All of this, of course, will be vividly amplified and made explicit through our liberally-biased media, judicial system and government.

Sociocultures are infinitely plastic. But they cannot be so, willy-nilly, and expect to survive. What the universe will reward amongst its sociocultures is clearly not infinite. Only the uneducated, the naive, or the dream-locked ideologue could believe that.

For societies to reinforce what you see in the following two videos, and all maladaptive things similar,  in the name of freedom and open-mindedness, is to increase the rate of its occurrence within their populations. Only be then will it be discovered that their society can no longer cope in a hostile and pernicious universe.

But the discovery will probably come to late.

Let us not be so open-minded that our brains fall out.

I have, at best, only another decade to observe America’s radical social experiments and their summating outcomes, which fuels our continued decline.

I continue to fear for my children and grandchildren.

Good Luck America!

See what you think in the videos below.

This next video can be viewed (amplified by the media) as funny. But lots of little boys want to grow up to be fire-fighters. Monkey see, monkey do.

VTM, 3/22/12

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