June 24, 2016
Written by Maximus Peperkamp, M.S. Behavioral Engineer
This is my ninth response to “Epistemological Barriers to Radical Behaviorism” by Donohue et al. (1998). I have talked with enough people to be sure that nobody has really any problem accepting the fact that the world is not flat or the center of the universe.
It is because of how we talk that many don’t understand nor accept Darwin’s that theory “removed humans from their special place at the pinnacle of the biblical hierarchy of animals, stipulating that the processes of evolution through natural selection that operated on all animals had operated, and continues to operate, on humans as well.”
Amazingly, this conclusion has not been made; those who understand, but who still have superstitions, maintain these by their way of talking. Addressing “epistemological barriers” without even addressing the fact that they are a function of how we talk with each other is nonsense.
The world is not in a chaos because of different conflicting theories or philosophies, but because of how we talk. The point I am making is that we are not talking as long as our theories and philosophies don’t match. We only assume we are talking, while we maintain our outdated beliefs.
The way of talking which makes us hang on to falsehoods is Noxious Verbal Behavior (NVB). It is a way of talking in which the speaker demands the attention from the listener. During NVB different speakers with different beliefs struggle to get each other’s attention. The struggle for attention and attempts to dominate the conversation are characteristics of NVB.
The scientific way of talking, in which we are looking at and listening to the facts, is Sound Verbal Behavior (SVB). During SVB communicators have a positive effect on each other because of how they sound. They agree that barriers are always caused by aversive-sounding speakers. They are intellectually engaged as no attention is drawn to negative emotions. SVB is scientific because we maintain our positive emotions.