Posts Tagged ‘values’

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.

http://thefuntheory.com/

V. Thomas Mawhinney, Ph.D.

When “Human Capital” Is Not Enough

February 19, 2010

When “Human Capital” Is Not Enough

The development of human capital is commonly identified as one of the prerequisites to sociocultural and economic success.

Normally, building human capital is presented as educating our people in science and technology, as well as in marketable skills.

But something is missing from this modern conception and it is not a small thing: It is a suicidal  omission. 

The citizens of a socioculture that plans to live long and well, must also teach their children an accurate history of their own culture and a system of guiding ethics with which to maintain it. As importantly, these future citizens must also be taught to love and respect their own history and comply with societies moral/ethical guidelines.

In America, these critical ingredients of human capital  were once taught by schools, churches, families, Boy and Girl Scouts, and the like. Though it may be hard to believe,  America’s entertainment media once, long ago, also  provided a strong assist to teaching these form of social capital to our children and youth.

At the present  in Post-Modern America, who now teaches these ethical virtues to our children? It is not the schools, our government has greatly impaired that function. It is not the church, as families are much less intimately involved than they once were. It is not the families who are working two jobs or more,  reduced, reconfigured, geographically split, and who are often divorced into four parents and eight grandparents (or more). In this last problem “too many chefs” often spoil the brew. It is not in our other strong organizations dedicated to acculturating our youth in  the values and ethics of Americans.  Boy Scout and Girl Scout (also Cub and Brownie Scout) enrollments have been diminishing. America’s  entertainment media have savagely betrayed it’s parents and children to wreak moral and ethical havoc upon them.

Who is teaching our children the essential moral/ethical components of Social Capital in Post-Modern America!?

Thank God some folks are, but their numbers are diminishing.

If something is lost, the  most effective to way to  find it again is to retrace our steps to the place that we once possessed it. 

True, we cannot turn back time. But we sure as hell can begin to teach ethics and values as we  once did, even if we do it in many different and new ways. It is just a matter of  admitting the lethality of one of our own stupid oversights in America,  the will to work and sacrifice as a nation, and the drive  to survive in a very hostile world.

Many of us are wondering if we have what it takes anymore.

Our youth will probably  know the answer within their life-time.

V. Thomas Mawhinney, Ph.D.    2/20/10

Censorship of Moral Values

August 27, 2009

Censorship of Moral Values

It is a bizarre twist that the minority secular forces in America, through the judiciary, have convinced the body politic that censorship of almost any sort is akin to a mortal Sin. Then, in the same way, they perpetrate the grand fraud that the Constitutional Separation of Church and State means that all references to Judeo/Christian guidelines to moral conduct must be expunged from the public domain.

Both are a monumental lies. These lies have credibility only because America has failed to educate its children, therefore its general public, about its own precious history;  the religiously based moral precepts of its Founding Fathers and their original intentions, hopes and dreams for our future.

The following quotes are taken from “Rediscovering God in America: Reflections on the Role of Faith in our Nation’s History and Future”, by Newt Gingrich.

“Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports” (p. 19).

George Washington, Farewell Address

“We have no government armed with power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion. Avarice, ambition, revenge, or gallantry would break the strongest cords of our Constitution as a whale goes through a net. Our Constitution was made for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other'” (p. 19).

John Adams

“Religion and good morals are the only solid foundation of public liberty and happiness” (p, 19).

Samuel Adams

“The politician who loves liberty sees…a gulp [sic] that may swallow up the liberty to which he is devoted. He knows that morality overthrown (and morality must fall without religion) the terrors of despotism can alone curb the impetuous passions of man, and confine him within the bonds of social duty (p. 19).

 Alexander Hamilton

“Our country should be preserved from the dreadful evil of becoming enemies of the religion of the Gospel, which I have no doubt, but would be the introduction of the dissolution of government and the bonds of civil society” (p. 20).

Elias Boudinot

“Religion and Virtue are the only Foundations, not only of Republicanism and or all free Government, but of social felicity under all Governments and in all Combinations of human society” (20).

John Adams

“Reading, reflection, and time have convinced me that the interests of society require the observation of those moral precepts…in which all religions agree” (20).

Thomas Jefferson

“Religion is the only solid Base of morals and Morals are the only possible Support of free governments” (p. 20)

Gouvernent Morris

“The only foundation for a useful education in a republic is to be laid in religion. Without this there can be no virtue, and without virtue there can be no liberty, and liberty is the object and life of all republican governments” (p. 20).

The following quote (Italics) are the words of Newt Gingrich, to be found on page 21 of his book:

“For the founders, it was abundantly clear. Religious liberty and freedom of religious expression would be indispensable supports for our democratic traditions of government and our pluralistic society. And so they have for over two hundred years.”

“It is important to recognize that the benefits of these supports accrue to people of not just one particular faith, but those of all faiths, and for all people of goodwill, whether religious, agnostic, atheist, or radical secularist. Likewise, the Founders clearly believed that the weakening of these religious supports—such as by the hostile treatment of religion in American public life—threatens to undermine the very republican institutions under which the religious and the non-religious alike find their liberties.”

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I believe these assessments of the essential beneficial effects of religion on the health and viability of America’s miraculous Constitutional Republic to represent an abiding truth.

V. Thomas Mawhinney, Ph.D., 8/27/09


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