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.

Preface (p.xi)

"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

past noon?

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).

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Regards,

Fred Nickols

Distance Consulting

http://home.att.net/~nickols/distance.htm

nickols@worldnet.att.net

(609) 490-0095