Already my reference conditions for these posts have
been modified. It occurs to me that it might be useful
(at least to me) to include what I get as the main points
of each chapter (how utterly boring that will be for the
rest of you).
So, backing up a bit before going into the leading questions
from Chapter 2 of B:CP, here's what I saw as the main points
from the Preface and from Chapter 1.
"Behavior is the process by which organisms control their
sensory input data. For human beings, behavior is the
control of perception."
Chapter 1 - The Dilemmas of Behaviorism (p.7)
"If an organism is seen to be altering its behavior in an
environment that is full of disturbances in such a way as
to keep producing the same final result, one might be
tempted to think that the organism intends to produce that
final result and is simply varying its outputs as necessary
so as to keep that final result happening over and over."
Now, on to Chapter 2 - Models and Generalizations
Main Points (as perceived by yours truly)
There are three types of generalization: extrapolation,
abstraction, and model building. Psychology has relied on
the first two. All three are useful, however, the great
gains in the physical sciences have come from the third.
Statistics is observation-based, not model-based. Statements
roots in statistical observations can be true in general or
about large numbers of people but not true of an individual
person or event.
Most models in behavioral sciences models pieces or aspects
of behavior, not the underlying structure.
Leading Questions - Chapter 2
1. A statistical generalization: Hiawatha shoots four arrows.
A target with its bullseye is located ten feet to the right of
a pine tree. The arrows pass six feet, eight feet, twelve feet,
and fourteen feet to the right of pine tree level with the
bullseye. Where does Hiawatha's average shot go?
The sum of those numbers is 40 and n=4, therefore the average
is 10. The average shot hits the bullseye (assuming that it
is the bullseye that is located 10 feet to the right of the
pine tree). In the real or "physical world" none of the four
shots hits the bullseye. The arrow that flew eight feet to
the right of the pine tree might have struck the left edge of
the target but definitely not the bullseye. (I am assuming a
target diameter of roughly four feet.)
2. An extrapolation: Xeno's tortoise is ten feet from a stone
wall. At noon exactly, it heads toward the stone wall at a
speed of one foot per minute. Where will the Tortoise be at
one minute past noon? nine minutes past noon? eleven minutes
If I assume instant acceleration, and a path perpendicular to
the wall, at one minute past noon the tortoise will be nine
feet from the wall. At nine minutes past noon the tortoise
will be one foot from the wall. At eleven minutes past noon
the tortoise will be in one of two places: If the tortoise
is smart, it will have turned left or right at 10 minutes past
noon and it will be next to the wall and one foot to the left
or right of the main line of travel. If the tortoise is not
so smart, it will be "up against the wall" (so to speak).