Saturday, May 24, 2014

Only the FEELING of Freedom?!

Here is an alarming quote from the B.F. Skinner website, with added emphasis:

Operant behavior is shaped and maintained by its consequences for the individual. Both processes have controversial features. Neither one seems to have any place for a prior plan or purposes. In both, selection replaces creation.
Personal freedom also seems threatened. It is only the feeling of freedom, however, which is affected. Those who respond because their behavior has had positively reinforcing consequences usually feel free. They seem to be doing what they want to do. Those who respond because the reinforcement has been negative and who are therefore avoiding or escaping from punishment are doing what they have to do and do not feel free. These distinctions do not involve the fact of freedom.