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through B's counter 
aggression (we have seen, of course, that the long-term effect is different), B will be reinforced. B's 
behavior in punishing A may thus be due simply to operant 
reinforcement. (p. 326) 
51 4 1S2S 
The control exercised by the group works to at least the temporary disadvantage of the individual. 
The man who has been positively reinforced for giving his possessions and services to others may 
find himself thoroughly despoiled. The group has generated behavior which, although it achieves 
the positive reinforcement accorded good behavior, also creates strongly aversive conditions for the 
individual. (p. 327) 
52 4 2S 
Among the forms of good behavior strengthened by the community are practices of self-control in 
which behavior which might result in extensive reinforcement is weakened. (p. 327) 
53 4 1S2S 
In short, the effect of group control is in conflict with the strong primarily reinforced behavior of the 
individual. Selfish behavior is restrained, and altruism is encouraged. But the individual gains from 
these practices because he is part of the controlling group with respect to every other individual. He 
may be subject of control, but he engages in similar practices in controlling the behavior of others. 
Such a system may reach a "steady state" in which the individual's advantages and disadvantages 
strike some sort of balance. (p. 327) 
54 4 1S2S 
Within the framework of a natural science certain kinds of behavior are observed when people live 
together in groups - kinds of behavior which are directed toward the control of the individual and 
which operate for the advantage of other members of the group. We define "good" and "bad," 
"right" or "wrong," with respect to a particular set o practices. We account for the practices by 
nothing the effects which they have upon the individual and in turn upon the members of the group, 
according to the basic processes of behavior. (p. 328) 
55 5 1S2S 
The group exercises an ethical control over each of its members mainly through its power to 
reinforce or punish. The power is derived from sheer number and from the importance of other 
people in the life of each member. Usually the group is not well organized, nor are its practices 
consistently sustained. Within the group, however, certain controlling agencies manipulate 
particular sets of variables. These agencies are usually better organized than is the group as a whole, 
and they often operate with greater success. (p. 333) 
56 5 1S2S 
A functional analysis of behavior provides us with a basic conception with which we may approach 
each of these fields in turn. We may be interested primarily in testing such an analysis by 
discovering whether it yields a plausible account of the behavior of the individual in each case, but 
if we can achieve such an account, then a considerable advantage may be claimed over traditional 
formulations. Not only will our analysis in each case have the support of the scientific study of the 
individual under optimal conditions of observation, it will be common to all fields. It will then be 
possible to consider the effect upon the individual of the total culture, in which all our controlling 
agencies and all the other features of the social environment work together simultaneously and with 
single effect. (p. 334) 
156 
 
57 5 2S 
In discussing controlling agencies, we are concerned specifically with certain kinds of power over 
variables which affect human behavior and with the controlling practices which can be employed 
because of this power. (p. 334 - 335) 
58 5 1S 
The strong or clever man is a sort of personal government whose power derives from his strength or 
skill. He may acquire henchmen who exercise the actual control over the group but who are in turn 
controlled by him trough personal strength or skill. (p. 335) 
59 5 1S2S 
The underworld gang often shows a governmental structure of this sort. In the organized 
government of a modern state the specific task of punishment is assigned to special groups - the 
police and military. Their power is usually sheer physical force, amplified by special equipment, but 
the power of the ultimate governmental agency may be of a different nature. For example, the police 
and military may be recruited after appropriate education, they may be controlled trough economic 
measures, or they may act under religious pressure. (p. 335 - 336) 
60 5 1S 
The individual must induce the group to assign governmental power to him, and once in office he 
must maintain his connection with this source. The techniques employed by an individual will be 
similar to those of a political machine or party. (p. 336) 
61 5 1S2S 
Once an agency with a particular membership is in power, however, it may ensure its own support 
through the use of the power to punish rather than trough appeal to the congruence of its function 
with that of the ethical group. Not everyone pay taxes simply because of group pressure. We are not 
concerned here, however, with the various kinds of ultimate power in government or with the 
internal control which maintains the structure of the agency or makes it function smoothly. The 
effect upon the governed is the point at issue. (p. 336) 
62 5 2S3S 
Where the group classifies behavior as "right' or "wrong", for purposes of ethical reinforcement, the 
governing agency adopts a distinction between "legal" and "illegal". The terms are denned roughly 
in relation to the source of power of the agency. Under an absolute ruler behavior is illegal if it has 
aversive consequences for the agency. (p. 336 - 337) 
63 5 2S 
A government uses its power to "keep the peace" - to restrain behavior which threatens the property 
and persons of other member of the group. A government which possesses only the power to punish 
can strengthen legal behavior only by making the removal of a threat of punishment contingent upon 
it. This is sometimes done, but the commoner technique is simply to punish illegal forms of 
behavior. (p. 337) 
64 5 2S 
Some governmental punishments consist of removing positive reinforcers - for example, 
dispossessing a man of property, fining him, taxing him punitively, or depriving him of contact with 
society through incarceration or banishment. Other common punishments consist of presenting 
negative reinforces - for example, inflicting physical injury as in flogging, threatening injury or 
death, imposing a sentence at hard labor, exposing the individual to public ridicule in the stocks, 
and aversively stimulating the individual in minor ways as by requiring him to report in person o a 
police station where the principal punishment is simply the time and labor consumed in reporting. In 
practice, these punishments are made contingent upon particular kinds of behavior in order to reduce 
the probability that the behavior will occur again. (p. 337) 
65 5 2S 
A direct weakening as the opposite effect of reinforcement is, as we have seen, unlikely. Instead, 
conditioned aversive stimuli are produced, one effect of which resembles the "sense of shame" of 
group control. When this results from governmental punishment, the commoner term is "guilt". ... 
As the net effect of governmental control, then, illegal behavior comes to generate aversive stimuli 
which makes the individual "feel guilty" and which provide for the automatic positive reinforcement 
of behaving legally. (p. 337) 
66 5 1S 
Any behavior commanded by the government - in actual fact by "persons in authority' who are able 
to exert governmental control - is eventually carried out within the range of the verbal history of the 
individual. (p. 338) 
157 
 
67 5 2S 
A law is thus a statement