Understanding Behaviorism: Behavior, Culture, and Evolution

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9781405112611: Understanding Behaviorism: Behavior, Culture, and Evolution
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Understanding Behaviorism explains the basis of behavior analysis and its application to human problems in a scholarly but accessible manner. Only book available that both explains behavior analysis and deals with philosophical and practical problems. Makes behaviorism accessible and explains the basis of behavior analysis and its application to human problems. Treats the ancient concepts of purpose, knowledge, language, and thought as well as modern social problems like freedom, responsibility, government, and culture. Offers practical approaches to improving the lives of all humankind. Includes suggestions for further reading.

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Review:

William Baum s book is a fine explication of some of the most powerful ideas in psychology. Behaviorism is out of vogue in some circles, but knowing about ideas of reinforcement, stimulus control, shaping and many other critical concepts is crucial knowledge for those who wish to understand overt human behavior. Baum s book provides a wonderful introduction into this important intellectual endeavor. I highly recommend it. Henry L. Roediger, III, Washington University in St. Louis

"This is a standard text on behaviourism, but one with the widest possible range. The first part is historical, but also relates behaviourism to philosophy of science and to distinctions between public and private. Part Two proposes a scientific model of behaviour, considering reinforcement, purpose, stimulus control, language and rule–governed behaviour. Perhaps the most interesting section for the general reader is the third on social issues: freedom, responsibility, values in science and religion, and the evolution and design of culture." The Scientific and Medical Network Review

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Understanding Behaviorism explains the basis of behavior analysis and its application to human problems in a scholarly but accessible manner. Behaviorism is defined as the proposition that a science of behavior is possible, and the book begins by exploring the question of whether behavior is free or determined, relating behaviorism to pragmatism, and showing how feelings and thoughts can be treated scientifically. Baum then discusses ancient concepts such as purpose, knowledge, and thought, as well as social problems such as freedom, responsibility, government, and culture. This new edition of a classic work is an invaluable part of the new evolutionary perspective in understanding behavior in general and culture in particular, and culminates by offering practical approaches to improving the lives of all humankind.

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