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March 19, 2010


David N. Andrews M. Ed., C. P. S. E.

"Humans are the only animals who kill each other for no practical reason."


Wrong actually... non-human animals will kill for no practical reason too: some apinoids will commit acts of proto-genocide for apparently no reason other than to wipe the other troop out. There will be no pressing urgency to do this... no serious need to expand their territory into another troop's territory... they just form what we call border patrols and in many cases will just kill indiscriminately and sometimes will slaughter a whole group. Humans are not unique in this sort of activity.

"Complicated mental manipulation is also only used among humans."

Again - incorrect. Complex mental control is in fact used in many apinoid communities, and this is related to a form of theory of mind (which humans seem to be the only specis to be credited with) ... in fact, humans aren't all that unique in these basic aspects of behaviour and interaction... what is unique about us is the levels of abstraction we can go to with them.

Robert Sapolsky, anthropologist, primatologist and neuroscientist tells more about this, starting at about 12mins into the video.

The notion that humans are the only specis that kills members of its own specis is still widespread but nonetheless wrong. I didn't know this either until I saw this video.

"Behaviorism is based on how human nature is related to that of less sophisticated animals. It explores our motivations from the viewpoint that we are either effectively providing for ourselves, or we are using ineffective methods for doing that."

Actually... the validity of this claim depends on which variant of behaviourism you're looking at. Watsonian behaviourism (basically, a stolen and somewhat mis-understood notion borrowed from Pavlov) denies things like thinking, feeling, motivation, and other things like those as mentalistic constructs... Watson had no room for them (in the sense that they cannot be directly observed and so they have no scientific value in psychology). Skinner, on the other hand, was actually (despite many myths about him that still circulate) less strict as a behaviourist: his viewpoint was that - if we want to understand the public events (behaviour) we must understand the private ones (thoughts and feelings)... and of course, motivation is one type of private event.

"The main reason for violence is people feeling that they need to protect themselves because no one else will."

The validity of this claim depends on too many variables to go into now... but there are many situations in which it is at least reasonably accurate. Research on aggression and on violent behaviour continues to be done and it is becoming more clear that the incidence of violent behaviour is not so much linked to a person's nature as it is to the way in which that nature and the situation in which that behaviour occurs interact. Which I get the feeling is what you're trying to say.

"Feeling unprotected leads to people feeling anxious and depressed, but most of all it leads to an unhealthy dependence on authority and discourages creativity and self worth."

First bit is absolutely accurate. Second bit is accurate in some situations, depending on the backgrounds and natures of the people involved... sometimes it can go the other way (looks, for example, at the way in which the Irish were treated since Tudor times,, and the ways in which the Irish have sought to defend against the oppression that was imposed upon them). Sometimes, it can be something of a mix of these responses - hatred of authority but still the discouragement of creativity and self-worth.

Much of the rest of the post actually makes good psychological sense, and I can see what you mean about 'from circus to zoo', and also - when you say that "if a child is vulnerable either due to inherent sensitivities or abusive home environments having their behavior evaluated in such a way will encourage rather than discourage a heightened sense of being unprotected" ... with regard to ABA/PBS overall... I'm not sure I'd agree entirely since, if these things were done with an individual's needs and abilities and interests in mind, we would have no problem with them. I think that there is a section of the profession mix involved that really do not think in a way that would allow these methods to be used in a way that would make life better for their clients/students/whatever, and that is definitely an issue that needs to be addressed. Viewed ethno-psychologically, the issue is one of ethno-centricism, in that the dominant cultural views set the standards for the expected behaviour ... which is what you say when you write:

"People who are statistically at the highest risk for being unfairly treated and subjected to punishment based on arbitrary rules and regulations are feared by the elite who has the most authority to create them. The last thing that is needed to provide a more trusting atmosphere is the addition of behavioral standards, which are used to normalize diverse populations."

This is exactly what goes on. Not going to argue with this one iota. Sad thing is that, not only it is accurate... it is too fucking accurate.

The punch you deliver in your final paragraph is absolutely spot on.

Basically a bloody good post.


If you and Bob are interested in what is right or wrong, true or false, good or bad, or how social restraint programs like particular types of psychology actually affect real people in real situations, you're welcome to read this blog to get a practical education. The exchange of ivy league notions you're referring to won't provide any credibility outside that delusional empire, and I'm certainly not obligated or motivated to entertain those notions.

David N. Andrews M. Ed., C. P. S. E.


You've turned into John Best.

Deal with being wrong about some issues, for fuck's sake.

You talk as if - because you say it's so, then it is so; and you have bugger all evidence to back up that sort of claim.

You talking of psychology as a 'delusional empire'? Looked at your own world-view lately?

You talk like John Best now.

You don't listen. You have stuck yourself into whatever world-view you have now and ... sorry, but you're really pissing me off. And - well... whatthefuckever, Ed... your loss.


You have no understanding of any of the issues you speak of. I listen very well to those who have some knowledge of what they are talking about. You do not.

Your accusations are false and unwelcome. Nor do you have any right to make them. Be pissed. This is not your website and you have no understanding of the issues.


"Deal with being wrong about some issues, for fuck's sake."

Your view of when I'm wrong? The start and the worst of your assumptions is about who I am and what I'm all about. I never brought that subject up.

The issues you pick out to say I'm wrong are outside the context of what I'm saying. Your reason for picking that out is none of my concern.

The last thing I am doing is getting stuck in my own world view. I just started writing about any of this and it's all very new to me. I'm learning things for the first time in my life and I turn 47 years old next week. Until today I didn't even know who fought in world war 1 or 2 or when either of them even were.

You could quite easily take anything I say that concerns something academic and not only challenge it but show me as knowing nothing whatsoever. But why do that.

The last time I tried to go to school they said I had NO CHANCE of graduating high school and that by today's standards I would begin in the 4th grade.

There is nowhere that I have ever said that I was smart. There are many times when I've said I have zero education.

I don't engage in arguments that show that I know something that someone else doesn't. I never engage in that because it would be silly. I don't know anything. What reason could anyone have of magnifying that.

The reasons I write here concerns only the people who choose to read it. No one has ever told me that I couldn't write what I do. Why should I accept being attacked here. Why should I accept being told that someone else knows who I am and what I need to hear from them about what I need to change about myself when they no nothing about me, I haven't told them about me, I didn't ask them for their advice.... and from a psychologist defending psychology? NO I won't.

What I know that means nothing to students and psychology is what abuses happen within their system. There's nothing academic about that it's just the experiences of someone who went through it because they weren't thought to ever be able to do anything academically so why would anyone care.

Why would a psychologist need to come to my website and attack me by pointing out what they think are my psychological issues and claim that I am asserting that I know more than I actually do. What would inspire me to learn anything from them. I know all too well that I have no right to assert myself to a psychologist. I know all too well the consequences.... but I'll do it anyway.

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