when you pay, how much, when you can't do something, when you must do something, and so on. The behaviorist calls this contingency practices. Webster's reports that "contingency" comes from Latin con-, meaning together, and tangere, meaning to touch. Thus, "contingency" is a coming together of happenings or accidental occurrences. This is what we ordinarily mean by the term "incident", as in, "The following incident happened while I was on Maui." Thus, tradition gives us the idea that things happen together; one thing leads to another, and the chain of events create the occurrences that make up the history of a place. Contingency practices are practices that make things come together by way of making up something new and desirable. A behaviorist would say "contingency arrangements managed by the teacher" and would mean rules the teacher makes and enforces. The problem you considered above--listing the "if-then" rules for your utopia--would be called "intentional management of available social reinforcers." Telling the students about new rules in the classroom and enforcing them, would be called "development and implementation of interventions." Being clever in thinking up rules that get the students' involvement and attention, would be called "discovering reinforcers that are meaningful." What you do in making up the rules in the classroom is called "learning intervention", and you do it in order to create d "controlled environment."






This diagram depicts "the natural order of things" which Skinner relates to "the result of the genetic endowment of the species" (Skinner, 1969, quoted in Skinner, 1972, p. 229). These are embedded within a situationai context of reinforcers, i.e., the reinforcers are stimulus conditions in the environment.

These reinforcers affect behavior either positively (increase in strength of the behavior, or negatively (decrease). By managing the contingency (= timing and frequency) of reinforcers (antecedents), one succeeds in controlling the behavior whose strength is maintained by the presence of the reinforcers (consequents). In this manner, complex human behaviors are shaped out of simpler ones. This complexity of behavior is possible because the human organism is genetically endowed to handle complex arrangements of reinforcing conditions. Note that this model is called operant learning because the behavior "oeprates" upon the environment by the consequences it brings about. Note that the model of operant behavior falls within field dynamic theory because behavior is defined as the resultant outcome of reinforcing effects (re- = again and again; -forcing = motivation for action). Contingency Management in the Classroom: Skinner (1969; 1972). "When a teacher can bring about conspicuous changes in behavior, changes which do not need to be confirmed by a statistical treatment of test scores, he knows immediately what he has done, and he is then most likely to learn to teach effectively. Traditional research in learning has seldom been very useful in education, and in part because it has neglected the process of shaping." (p. 228) "A good program reinforces the student abundantly and at just the right times. It shapes new forms of behavior under the control of appropriate stimuli, but the important thing is that it maintains the student's behavior. It holds his attention; it keeps him at work." (p. 229) "He [the teacher] is not a source of knowledge or evaluation of what a student knows; he is in a sense, the governor of a community. It should be a community in which learning takes place expeditiously, and the teacher can meet the assignment if he knows how to use reinforcement But he must first answer an important question: what reinforcers are available? To put it roughly, what does he possess that his students want?" (p. 230). "Unfortunately, social contingencies are often hard to arrange. To induce the members of a classroom community to behave well with respect to each other, additional reinforcers may be needed. (...) The main problem is to make these reinforcers contingent on the desired behavior. (...) A 'generalized reinforcer' is needed--something which is exchangeable for reinforcing things. Money shows the archetypal pattern. (...) Credit points or tokens can be used as money in the classroom." (p. 231) "There have often been great discrepancies between what is taught and what students eventually use. Verbal materials are easily imported into the classroom (in the form of discussions, lectures, and textbooks), and they have Often been overemphasized. Students spend a great deal of time answering questions, but answering questions is only a small part of daily life." (p. 232)

"The classroom is a kind of community, with a culture of its own, and we can design such a culture while respecting the standards of dignity and freedom which we value in the world at large. The assignment is important because in the long run education must take its place as the method of choice in all forms of social control. (...) The sooner. we find effective means of social control., the sooner we shall produce a culture in which man's potential is fully realized." (p. 235) Learning Interventions. If you were a teacher, what would you do to create a controlled environment in the classroom? What are meaningful reinforcers to the people in your class? How will you know if your learning interventions are effective, i.e. the students achieve specified target behaviors? ("behavioral objectives"). In Battle in the Classroom, Professor W. Scott *MacDonald (1971) tells of his experiences in creating a community classroom on a Leeward side farm rented with DOE moneys and turned into a controlled environment for Leeward country boys who found little meaningful social reinforcers in the existing classrooms there. We've extracted from his report what we felt were the chief ideas, and collected them in the accompanying table. Part A contains behavioristic expressions that refer to the idea of innovations in classroom techniques (Dr. MacDonald's sub-title to his book). Part B contains a list of the general pedagogic strategies the author presupposes as valid; we may call them principles of behavioral control. Part C is a list of specific strategies which the author, along with his collaborators used as specific learning interventions.




Arranging for Effective Control Systems. Let us discuss the general strategies first. The intention was to innovate a "total spectrum of classroom experiences" by "arranging for effective control systems of student response". This means that whatever rules were made, they were to exert vector force in specified directions, i.e., toward pre-selected target behaviors. It was found that the troubled students lacked "basic behavioral requirements", which meant they couldn't read for functional purposes (e.g., following written instructions) and perform other tasks that the teacher felt they should be able to do at their age. It was decided therefore, to "broaden the range of student behaviors" to include these basic skills as well as the usual topical curriculum. However, the researchers felt that the amount of behavioral control to be achieved was not effectively possible under ordinary classroom conditions. To "encourage desirable behaviors" it was necessary to "arrange for more effective control systems of student response". This meant the farm. The basic principle that motivated the creation of a new and better controlled environment, was to make sure that the students' "own behavior would determine access to desired activities: accurate records were kept of student performances and given an official status. These records, kept on a daily basis, allowed the research-teaching team to determine the "amount of behavioral control achieved" and to assess "the relationship between expected behaviors and reinforcers". Within general format or context, the specific strategies given in Part C were implemented.

A major visible feature of the intervention program was a "token reinforcement system", which meant a system of points that could be earned by the student, and which he could "cash in" or with which he could obtain desirable privileges (including grades, money, excursions, etc.). Points were given for individual effort rather than competitive placement, and as well, points were given for team effort to encourage cooperation, team unity, and mutual care. This is why these classroom techniques are called "team- rewards classrooms". The idea of creating teams draws on the known effects of grouping upon individual behavior. This is called "formalized interaction patterns" since team work constrains individual behavior according to patterns that are dependent on the group's structure. "Self-initiative assignments" and "student activities in which they help other students" (tutoring) were two additional techniques of intervention. Dr. *MacDonald reports that the community classroom at Leeward was a success in that it demonstrated that student behaviors can be effectively controlled in desirable directions through a program of learning interventions that provide careful "schedules of academic and social activities" and arrange for "effective control systems" based on "meaningful social reinforcers".

The community classroom need not take the form Of a farm. "Open classrooms" in college settings can achieve the status of authentic community through a similar program of environmental control. Professor *MacDonald intimates this when he ends his book with the following words:

"This chapter has challenged an old tradition in teaching: that the teacher works behind a closed door, and is her own sole critic. This tradition exists from the kindergarten music class to the advanced physics seminar in graduate school. And it is a tradition opposed to the fundamentals of education: while education has emphasized a respect for empirical validation, it has denied investigation of its own process.

"We would like to think that in the years to come we will take our Own advice. We have taught courses and seminars that should receive at least honorable mention for the award of most boring, most irrelevant, and most confused of class sessions. But that is no excuse for us to continue in this vein. We would like to begin a tradition by inviting the teaching profession to join us in what we consider an important move. We are inviting an open door to our own classrooms, and asking colleagues to come into our classes and discuss with us whether we have met our goals and how to improve in either event. We are trying to collect information that will show us what we have done well and should continue doing, as well as what we have done poorly and should do differently.

"We invite feedback from students and visitors and we shall sift through their opinions to study what our impact has been. The open door does not always confirm our expectations, but it does facilitate our being able to become the kinds of teachers we want to be." (*MacDonald, 1971, p. 183)

Professor *MacDonald deserves credit for this courageous stand on classroom innovation. We applaud the intention behind an open door policy and we take this opportunity to join him in extending a similar invitation to him and all those interested in a more authentic community atmosphere in education. The course of study that we are following in this course has many of the features identified in Battle in the Classroom: open door policy, participatory interaction, team effort, point system, a broad range Of skills to be practiced, daily records of student performances and activities, evaluation based on effort and accomplishment rather than on competition, and self-initiative opportunities. The student who is interested in further details on what local behaviorists are accomplishing in the school and the community, may consult a recent volume edited by *MacDonald and *Tanabe (1973).

The Technology of Teaching. The ideas we've been discussing concerning the method of behaviorism in learning interventions were pioneered by famed behaviorist B. F. Skinner, inventor of the "Skinner box" and of "teaching machines". Skinner is the acknowledged living master of controlled environments His influential books since the 1930's have precipitated upon American education the methods of behavioral control that are now standard in American public education: programmed modules of learning ("HEP stacks" in Hawaii are an example), token reinforcements ("M & M" psychology), behavioral objectives ("target behaviors") and accountability in education, headstart enrichment programs ("Sesame Street" style), teacher-pupil interaction analysis (counting

types of exchanges), and many more. In The Technology of Teaching, author Skinner (1968) outlines "the contingencies of reinforcement under which behavior changes." He argues that learning is a science while teaching is an art!

Skinner views askance the techniques of experimental psychology which he criticizes for failing to be concerned with the prediction and control of individual behavior. "It is not surprising that techniques of this sort have yielded only very rough data from which the uniformities demanded by an experimental science can be extracted only by averaging cases. In none of this work has the behavior of the individual organism been predicted in more than a statistical sense. The learning processes which are the presumed objects of such research are reached only through a series of inferences." (Skinner, 1968, pp. 9-l0).

Skinner is referring here to an issue, very familiar to psychologists who like us, have gone to school in the 1940's and '50's. In those days, behaviorism had conquered everything else except education and therapy. These were the biggest pieces of the pie however, and it is part of Behaviorism's reputation that it conquered these as well, in the relatively short span of two cecades. To what are we to attribute the enormous success of this school? The answer to this is implied in Skinner's statement: the increase in power achieved when we change our focus from group averages to single organisms. Statistics was invented for elegant descriptions of populations and their characteristics, not for predicting single cases. Strangely, the method of statistics, especially the Null Hypothesis, was adopted by psychological journals in America, as the required standard for reporting experimental data! We say "strange" because statistics was rather a specialized method, precisely tooled for significantly large samples, but worse than useless (distorting) when individual behaviors in particular ("biased") settings were of concern-- yet statistics became the method for finding explanations of individual behavior. Skinner was the man to call out the Emperor's nonexistent clothes! Where is the average American, and what's his name? which doctor delivered the 11.3 - baby" in "the average American family has 2.3 children"? Tests of selection (scholastic, industrial) are constructed by means of the statistical method; their validity is expressed as a "correlation number." This number determines which items make up the test and, what your overall score is set to be, relative to "norms." Norms are statistically defined weights ("multiplicative function") which catapult your score up or down depending on how some other people within the same population have scored on the same items. If you think about this for a while, you may come to realize that your chances of getting in somewhere depend more on the scores of others who also want to get in there, than on your own. A focus on individual behavior, however, returns the selection decision to the performative characteristics of your own behavior.

The "strange" adoption of statistics are the required method had a peculiar effect in clinical psychology. When statistics was applied to the development of personality tests, an individual's mental health and degree of social adjustment was assessed on the basis of his score on these tests. Thus, whether you were judged "sane" or "insane", socially adjusted or "perturbed", depended on normative distributions, i.e., your score went up or down depending more on how others scored than yourself! This was justified through the argument that, in the long run, i.e., considering averages over samples of

people, the tests were better predictors of these averages than other methods The argument is acceptable in situations where you want to predict averages, but is not applicable when you want to predict the behavior of a single individual.

Cumulative Records of Individual Behavior. The method that Skinner popularized shunned statistics in favor of graphics. This is not the expression he used, but it is the name we use for investigatory techniques that are based on visual (geometric) techniques of keeping track. Behaviorists started their own journals in which the required standard of reporting data was a format called the cumulative record. This may be illustrated by showing a method of daily log recording used by Professor *MacDonald in his up-coming book, Emotional Life of College Students, and reproduced in *Watson and *Tharp (1971, pp. 57-59):

This method of reporting is advocated by the behaviorist interested in the cumulative record of an individual over time. A variant form of this technique involves the base line technique where a record is kept of the behavior of the individual prior to intervention; the intervention is then introduced and change in the "operant" curve noted visually; thereafter, the conditions established by the intervention are lifted, and the curve is watched once more for a change. However, this latter requirement is not always observed by behaviorists as shown by the following diagram reported by Professors R. A. *Dubanoski and G. *Tanabe:

This graph shows the "oppositional behaviors" (tantrums, screaming, fighting) that were reported by the parents of a four-year-old boy during a baseline period of observations (2 weeks). On the fifteenth day, the parents introduced an intervention: from now on, they would attempt to "ignore oppositional behaviors whenever possible, while providing praise (comments such as 'good boy') and affection (hugs) following compliance and other desirable behaviors. During the intervention period the incidence of 'bad' behaviors dropped to a rate of .5 events per day. During this period the parents remarked that the change in their son's behavior was immediately obvious." (*Dubanoski and *Tanabe, in *MacDonald and *Tanabe, 1973, p. 111).

The pragmatic focus of the behaviorists has restored balance to the experimental method, which now comprises both statistics and graphics as techniques for reporting data on behavior. At this stage of progress, the two techniques are usable each for their own purpose: group averages, sampling distributions, and statistical probabilities remain the tools of the cognitivists in the fields of measurement, tests, individual differences, personality inventories, attitude scales, and the like; cumulative records Of baseline/intervention graphics remain the tools of the behaviorists in the fields of behavior therapy, community intervention, behavior self-modification, and the like. In studying social psychology, it is an advantage to understand both techniques.

Self-modification of Behavior. The most recent entry of behaviorism into community life is called self-modification of behavior (or behavior self- modification). We will examine this idea in the work of Professors Dave *Watson and Roland *Tharp called Self-directed Behavior: Self-modification for Personal Adjustments (l977). This is a timely development, long overdue since arch-rightist John B. Watson (no relation to Professor Dave *Watson) officially drove out consciousness from behaviorism, in his famous 1917 Presidential Address to the American Psychological Association:

"This leads me to the point where I should like to make the argument constructive. I believe we can write a psychology...and.. never use the term consciousness, mental stages, mind, content, introspective1y verifiable, imagery, and the like. I believe that we can do it in a few years....It can be done in terms of stimulus and response, in terms of habit formation, habit integrations and the like. Furthermore, I believe that it is really worth while to make this attempt now." (J. B. Watson, 1917, quoted in Hernstein and Boring, 1965, pp. 513-514).

Watson's elementary purity did not sway the times as the literature of the past 50 years demonstrates: experimental psychology, armed with the tools of design and statistics marched onwards to dissect and project the mind and its mental stages. Psychophysics, "the physics of the mind," produced hearing aids, driver's vision tets, and biofeedback machines. Neurophysiology, " the physiology of the nerves," produced the EEG and GSR (electroencephalogram => brain waves; galvanic skin response => lie detectors). As well, hypnosis and meditation produced work on "altered states of consciousness." In human experimental psychology, imagery, information theory, and symbolic processes form perhaps the largest bulk of work done.

But Watson's structures did affect psychology in some ways. Before Watson, behavioral (functional) phenomenology formed the center of focus, even for Mead's social behaviorism. Mind, consciousness, will, concentration, attention, prayer, were the words of the day. By driving them out of respectable "scientific" psychology, there formed a significant gap between the science Of behavior and community life, a gap which behaviorism is only now, at last bridging. When we were in graduate school in the 1950's, a recurrent theme in student discussions was, But how can they deny that we think and are conscious?? The "they" referred to the strict behaviorists, as Skinner had a reputation of being. Of course, Skinner denied he was ignoring "thinking" (see James, 1966, for a discussion of this). Since the 1930's, he held on steadfastly to the prediction that the cumulative record will prove applicable to the study of what he termed "private behavior" (= thinking).

It is in this historical context that the work for Professors *Watson and *Tharp must be seen, i.e., as behaviorism recovered. "Self-modification!' Of behavior and self-directed" behavior are ideas that re-open the all important possibility of a science of psychology that does not make itself irrelevant to life as we experience it. We know next to nothing about the actual life of a person in its minute details as seen from the point of view of the person himself, the Subject's biographic record. The technique of cumulative records

and the many additional techniques practiced in this course of study, at last have issued in a new era of data keeping. This accumulation and processing of daily round data, collected by individuals in the course of their ordinary business, now becomes a task of first importance. The "DRA Project", as outlined in this course of study can be seen as a beginning step towards the establishment of needed data banks. As a student in this course, you are taking part in this venture; your work is a concrete contribution (= data!) that will directly affect the history of this new event on our society.

"This book is designed to acquaint you with the general theory of behavior, to guide you through exercises for developing skills in self-analysis, and to provide you with concrete information on how to achieve the goals you hold for yourself. The most important goal of this volume is to help you, the reader, achieve more self-determination, more "willpower," and more control over your own life. ...In a sense, your daily life will become the laboratory in which you will study and develop your own behavior." (From the Preface, *Watson and *Tharp, 1977). Thus we are led to the most interesting idea of the daily round as laboratory.

Let us follow the program of exercises developed by *Watson and *Tharp.

(1) "Make a list of five personal goals. Include some long-range and some short-term goals and some major and some minor ones." (p. 12) LAJ (your instructor) came up with the following:










1. liberation
2. cut out smoking
3. DRA Project
4. control my


finishing this book
apply for grant
finish this exercise


cut down on coffee
buy new clothes
clear my desk
learn Hawaiian

write a letter to UHM
talk to JJ
vacuum the pool


Commentary. (LAJ) The above took about 10 minutes. The easiest categories were major long-term goals and minor short-term goals; the hardest was the minor long-term category. The thoughts reported all seem quite familiar upon review of the list.

(2) "From the list of possible goals you prepared at the end of Chapter 1, select one that seems to be a good choice for a learning project. Write Out this goal as specifically as possible. ...When you have chosen your goal, go On to the next chapter." (p. 21)

LAJ picked "controlling my emotions." The following is the detailed write-up of this major long-term goal:

(Major long term goal: LAJ)

1. Don't get excited.

2. Watch yourself getting upset.

3. Leave the room if you have to.

4. Try to hide your feelings.

5. Remind yourself you're a little crazy.

6. Pray.

7. Count or think about something else.

8. Remember you'll regret it later.

9. Be kind and gentle.

10. Yelling doesn't pay off.

Commentary: This took only two minutes. The series is surely incomplete and sounds very familiar to me. I said these things to myself on many occasions when battling with my two children.

(3) "You should now specify your goal as some behavior-in-a situation that you wish to decrease...or increase." (p. 39)















in the house and car

when kids horse

at home, when words and

warnings have failed

when they ignore or

refuse requests or

when we're having a










Commentary. This took ten minutes. The easiest to think of were the behaviors whose occurrence I want to eliminate eventually, or decrease for now. These items then naturally evoked their opposites, i.e., the behaviors that I want to increase in occurrence, or have them replace the former. What a nice thing

that would be! My self-image grows by leaps and bounds just contemplating that situation! I can hardly wait to begin this program of self-direction and self-control. I feel excitement and enthusiasm, and appreciation for Dave and Roland (*Watson and *Tharp) who are bringing these techniques to the world, at last!

(4) "You should now begin self-observation for the behavior-in-a- situation you have chosen in step two." (p. 70)

Commentary: Great success in one area: after observing my behavior on Week End 1, and recording the incidence of the SPANKING/HITTING category, it went down to zero occurrence on Week End 2. I interpreted this effect as attributable to my resolution to do something about it: to cut it out altogether, no matter what, on the next week end. That worked. As well, the curve shows an impressive decrease in category 1., YELLING. Unfortunately, the category of abusive language certainly did not improve! On the next two week-ends I had pads and pencils distributed all over the house, and whenever I observed the occurrence of an "increase target behavior", I immediately noted it down. This gave the following distribution:

Commentary: This graph was informative in showing me the baseline rate of the increaset target behaviors. The change from Week End 3 to 4 is difficult to evaluate. In both cases, I was aware of an effort to engage in the desired behaviors. I realized that I needed two things: (i) more time to practice, and (ii) better techniques for preparing myself, perhaps immunizing myself in advance. I could perhaps create situations in which I in advance decided to act in a particular style. On the fifth week end, I decided to devote special time segments during which I would make a concerted effort to increase the occurrence of GIVING MORE LEEWAY and TRY SEEING THEIR PERSPECTIVE--with the following results:

Commentary: The graph shows a definite increase in the two target behaviors. I attribute this to the special intervention technique I used: I spent a total Of four hours, divided in three segments, in special activities (playing chess; going to the beach; making up word puzzles) during which I specifically paid attention to my interactions with them, especially regarding the two target behaviors. I used a combination of coins and written record: from a collection of coins kept in my left pocket, I placed a coin either in my right pocket (for each occurrence of GIVING MORE LEEWAY) or my back pocket (for each occurrence of TRY SEEING THEIR PERSPECTIVE); when convenient, I would count and write down the contents of the three pockets, then re-start.

(5) "Think about the behaviors you have been Observing, get your Observation notes, and answer the following questions about your target behaviors." (i) "about the antecedents of your behavior"; (ii) ''about the behavior itself;" (iii) "about the consequences." (pp. 87-88).

(i) observations about antecedents:

1. Physical aggression occurs after the fourth or fifth warning; I Often announce verbally that "unless you do what I tell you, I will be forced to use force"!!

2. "Stimulus control" of my aggressive behavior appears excessive: I allow myself to fall into a sequence that necessarily precipitates my aggressive response. My goal here should be to reduce stimulus control by avoiding the beginning of the sequence.

3. The "cue that most often triggers my aggressive behavior is the perception of being ignored by the children when I make a request (e.g., "Don't fight!"). Behind this reaction, I see a complex verbal adjustment problem: "when they ignore me, they are showing lack of respect for parental authority; if I allow them to get away with it, things will get worse and worse--and I can't have that!"

(ii) observations about the behavior itself:

4. The incidence of my aggressive behavior towards the children is relatively frequent; it may occur in various forms more than a dozen times in the course of a week end day when we spend many hours together. This tells me that the behavior has a "high strength", that it is under "intermittent reinforcement", and that it will be a "resistant to extinction."

5. The "avoidance" element likely to be most resistant to extinction or control is getting involved in their own world of justifications: I tend to avoid this because I find it emotionally upsetting. As a result, I act in an authoritarian, rigidified manner, expecting immediate compliance without explanation. This may be unrealistic. By avoiding dealing with their justifications, I prevent positive exchanges and the opportunity to influence them verbally during those exchanges.

6. I relate my attitude towards discipline to my father and his method of disciplining me. At times, I see myself compulsively enact the same "scenes we had at home when I was a child. I've also observed this "modeling" behavior in my boy's aggressiveness towards his younger sister. Like father, like son!

7. My aggressive behaviors are no doubt maintained by the reinforcing value it has in containing the children's behavior: it works in the short run. Simultaneously, I know it doesn't work in the long run, and as well, it offers a bad model for them to imitate. My aggressive behavior is difficult to extinguish because, (a) it is an "operant" controlled by "intermittent reinforcement": sometimes they respond to my pre-aggression warning by complying, sometimes they ignore it altogether; (b) it involves "avoidance behavior" in that I do not involve myself with their justifications, and hence fail to find out whether I could preempt physical aggression through verbal exchanges.

(iii) observations about the consequences:

8. I am "positively reinforced" when I succeed in avoiding physical aggression; I feel good when our relationship is smooth and without the tensions and bad feelings that come from fights.
9. I am "positively reinforced" by the short term, immediate gains of physical aggression and threat in obtaining compliance. Thus, the situation is complicated by the fact that two incompatible goals are involved: getting immediate compliance with aggressive threats (negative reinforcer) and, some- times getting compliance without the threats.

10. I note that, in this case, fortunately, the desired behavior does not appear to be punished: conciliation and rational exchange always gets rewarded.

(6) "Write a plan for applying one or more of these strategies [i.e., reinforcement, extinction, punishment] to your own behaviors." (p. 119).

Strategic Plans

1. Discover "reinforcers that are controllable." One method would be to differentiate the situation into more than two possibilities, as follows:














2. Use the "Premack Principle" by selecting a frequent positive behavior and make it contingent on a less frequent desirable behavior. For example, make JOINT ACTIVITITES dependent on COMPLIANCE BEHAVIOR.

3. Engage in alternative incompatible behaviors so that doing the alternative prevents you from doing the usual behavior. For example, SHOWING MY HURT FEELINGS is incompatible with AUTOCRATIC DEMANDS FOR IMMEDIATE COMPLIANCE.

(7) (8) (9) "make a graph of your data" (p. 191).

Applying the Premack Principle

This plan shows that I am going to make a less frequently occurring desirable behavior (COMPLIANCE) contingent upon the occurrence of a more frequently occurring desirable behavior (JOINT ACTIVITY ) .

(ii) Implementation:

This graph shows that the Premack intervention strategy helped decrease the undesirable behavior of YELLING, while there was a concomittant increase in the desirable behavior of IMMEDIATE COMPLIANCE. When the contingency arrangement was removed, however, there was a noticeable return to earlier forms of behavior. A second strategy of intervention was the attempt to increase the frequency of occurrence of a positive behavior that is incompatible with the occurrence of a negative behavior:

The graph shows that the intervention was successful. That is, the baseline rate for Sunday A.M. shows that by noontime the undesirable behavior of NAME CALLING reached a total frequency of occurrence of 12, while the incompatible

response of SHOWING MY HURT FEELINGS reached the count of only 4. I then decided to make a strong effort for the next five hours to show my children that their actions hurt my feelings: this inhibited my calling them names. As the graph shows, by 5 P.M., NAME CALLING was kept at 14, while SHOWING MY HURT FEELINGS rose to 18. Upon termination of the intervention, i.e., relaxing my efforts to concentrate, NAME CALLING BEHAVIOR stayed relatively steady (only 16 at 9 P.M.) while SHOWING MY HURT FEELINGS kept climbing to reach 22 for the day! Other behaviors no doubt were also affected, but these were not kept track of.

Synopsis 16: The Community Classroom and Principles of Environmental Control

"Community Classroom Approach" refers to a pedagogic technique that contrasts with the more usual classrooms you are already familiar with. The behavioristic methodology espouses community classrooms in the sense that a classroom is redefined as a "controlled environment" and operant methods are employed to arrange contingencies for the "optimum use of meaningful reinforcers." Thus, the community classroom is an instructional technique that is at once humanistic and scientific.

Behaviorist B. F. Skinner is the originator of the operant learning model which has evolved from Skinner boxes and pigeon boxes to behavior modification, programmed learning, teaching machines, and "contingency management in the classroom." Skinner rejects experimental and statistical methods of investigating learning phenomena because they do not allow for the prediction and control of a single individual's behavior (but only group averages, if at all). The operant model substitutes the "cumulative record" for experimental statistics. The cumulative record is a graph showing changes in the strength or frequency of some specified behavior plotted against time. The curve is inspected for systematic changes from before an intervention is introduced (called "the baseline"), to when the intervention is operative, to after the intervention is removed.

General principles of arranging for effective control systems in a community classroom environment include the following: rules ought to exert forces in specified directions, i.e. toward pre-selected target behaviors; goals and objectives ought to include basic behavioral requirements that broaden the range of student behaviors; the student's own behavior ought to determine access to desired reinforcers; accurate records of student performances ought to be kept on a regular basis; a token reinforcement system ought to be used, with points given for both team and individual effort; self-initiative assignments and cooperative work (e.g., tutoring) are desirable.

While the earlier behaviorism of J. B. Watson excised the study Of self and consciousness, later work by B. F. Skinner showed how thinking and other forms of covert or "private" behavior can be included in the operant learning paradigm. More recently, the work on self-modification and on self-direction of behavior re-introduces into the behavioral modification technology, the possibility of charting one's emotional and affective reactions in everyday life settings. This approach may be referred to as "the daily round as laboratory."

Bird Stories (15) by Leon James

One Sunday afternoon, my 3-year old son brought in a baby cardinal which he said had been lying out on the street. My first thought was to put the bird in the aviary, which I did despite the protest of my son He was sure that if we leave it outside, "its parents will come and take it." I pooh-poohed the idea as a Disney story, and over the protest of everyone (including Dr. Gordon), I incarcerated the bird.

Inside the aviary, the little wild bird settled itself 0n the front wire mesh wall, and began a fantastic racket of distress calls. I went back to my study. An hour later, my son rushed in to announce excitedly that the parents had come! I rushed out and saw the little bird being fed by a pink-brown cardinal with an impressive head-set. I rushed to the aviary and immediately freed the little bird. It took a dizzying dive across the pool and barely made it across the oleander fence. Two gorgeous cardinals emerged from somewhere and were in hot pursuit. My son ran out to investigate. Later he reported that the family lived in a tree a half a block away. I learned an important lesson that day: birds aren't dumb!

I was trying to net a couple of lovebirds from our aviary one day to give to someone. Trouble was they all look identical and I couldn't be sure I wasn't breaking up a mated pair. I devised the following strategy. I placed the two captured birds in a little cage, left the cage inside the aviary, and positioned myself outside for observation. As soon as I had left, one of the lovebirds immediately flapped around the little cage, eventually, settled on it, and was having an intensive exchange with one of the trapped birds. I then knew I had made a mistake. Returning to the aviary I freed that bird and captured another. Then I stationed myself outside once again. This time no one seemed terribly upset and, consequently, the two lovebirds were spirited away by our eager visitor.

Though I know a great deal about the life in a community of our backyard aviary birds, I am frustratingly aware of how little I know about their psychodynamics. How do they perceive the world around them? How do they recognize each other? Obviously they know about sex, age, species, and individual differences, since their behavior toward one another visibly takes these features into account. As well, they have a sense of normalcy and react to abnormal sights and sounds. Do they have thoughts and feelings? Preferences and anticipations? What is the content of their songs and chirpings? What makes the nestlings come out? Does the mother know if one of the babies is missing? Do they know about death?

Perhaps these are but idle questions, yet they persist and recur in my mind. Isn't there a methodology we can use to investigate them?


P. D. Ouspensky has written several works on the inner nature of man and its evolution. In The Psychology of Man's Possible Evolution (1934; 1954; 1974), Ouspensky distinguishes between mechanical or biological evolution ("brain") and the development of the qualities of the mind. His fundamental idea is that man "is not a completed being" (p. 8) and his qualities or capacities evolve only as a direct consequence of persistent and personal efforts. Thus, "because most men do not want to become different beings," they fail to do the necessary preparation for such evolution in their own lives. In fact, according to Ouspensky, evolution is becoming "more and more rare" (p. 9).

And here we come at once to a very important fact. Man does not know himself. He does not know his own limitations and his own possibilities. He does not even know "to how great an extent he does not know himself" (p. 11). Ouspensky rejects scientific evolutionary accounts of man as a descendant of lower forms of life pointing out that much evidence exists in the form of monuments and great works of architecture and engineering which evidence the presence of high civilizations that cannot be explained on the theory of early lowly origins. Instead, he believes that archeological remnants of early man may belong to a separate species that died out.

Man is a machine and "can do nothing." "That must be understood very clearly. Man cannot do. Everything that man thinks he does, really happens. It happens exactly as 'it rains', or lit thaws."' (p. 12). Man moves like a "marionette pulled here and there by invisible strings." (p. 13) Man can cease to be a machine only when he realizes that he is one. To realize this, "what man must know is that he is not one; he is many" (p. 13). Name, body, socio-legal identity, habits of perception and thought all combine to give man the illusion of the unity of personality, but in reality, man's "I" or Ego is continually changing, being different in various circumstances. We each on our own use the "I" as the subject of our acts, but in reality, says Ouspensky, each "I" is but an instance of the group of ''I's" available to an individual but belonging to humanity as a whole. "Every thought, every feeling, every sensation, every desire, every like and every dislike is an 'I'. These 'I's' are not connected and are not co-ordinated in any way. Each of them depends on the change in external circumstances, and on the change of impressions." (p. 14).

There are two stages to the process of man's possible evolution. The first consists in the realization of qualities and powers that man thinks he possesses. "Man must know what he has and what he has not." (p. 16) He must realize that he does not possess "capacity to do, individuality, or unity, permanent Ego, and in addition, Consciousness and Will." (p. 16). When man realizes he does not yet have the capacities he already ascribes to himself, he can then proceed to the second stage, namely the acquisition of these powers, and new ones as well, which he does not now think he possesses.

The quality of consciousness can be known only to man himself. "That means that the presence or absence of consciousness in man cannot be proven by observation of his external actions." (p. 17). Because consciousness in man oscillates, one moment there and another moment gone, and because he does not remember his moments of awareness, man is subject to "the illusion of

continuous consciousness or continuous awareness." (p. 17). According to 0uspensky, consciousness varies in three dimensions: duration ("how long one was conscious"), frequency ("how often one became conscious"), and penetration ("of what one was conscious"). Consciousness "can be made continuous and controllable by special efforts and special study." (p. 19). There are four states of consciousness according to Ouspensky: "sleep, waking state, self- consciousness, and objective consciousness" (p. 20). Ordinarily, one remembers "moments of consciousness" but this memory is different from the actual consciousness itself. You can prove this to yourself by realizing how little you actually remember of your moment-to-moment awarenesses when attempting to review an episode: you may remember things you've noticed but you no longer remember the details of the sensory and ideational processes you went through. If you now add up all the episodes of a day, it becomes clear that you only remember a small fraction of your existence. Thus, actual self-consciousness in contradistinction to remembered self-consciousness, is intermittent and infrequent.

Can one acquire command over "fleeting moments of consciousness" (p. 22), increasing their duration and frequency? "In other words, is it possible to become conscious?" (p. 22). Ouspensky answers positively and proceeds to specify the conditions of acquisition for self-consciousness. "For with right methods and the right efforts man can acquire control of consciousness, and can become conscious of himself, with all that it implies." (p. 22) These techniques involve overcoming "obstacles", "the greatest of which is our ignorance of ourselves." (p. 22). Thus, "we must understand that psychology really means self-study." (p. 23).

Ouspensky's psychological model includes seven parameters, or, as he calls them, "functions" (p. 23):

1. Thinking (or intellect)

2. Feeling (or emotions)

3. Instinctive function (inner organismic processes)

4. Moving function (Outer movement and work)

5. Sex (male and female principles)

6. Self-consciousness ("higher emotional function")

7. Objective consciousness ("higher mental function")

We are familiar with the first five, while the last two, according to Ouspensky, are attainable only after persistent efforts or practice and only witn the help of a guide or person who is already master of the 'higher functions'. Here, Ouspensky Points out the close relation between the higher functioning of consciousness as defined within the above series of seven and references in the literature to "higher states of consciousness" such as samadhi, ecstatic state, illumination, and cosmic consciousness. There is a definite order effect in Ouspensky's series of seven functions, i.e. they are proposed as developmental stages for Personal development. The first four functions must be mastered first, i.e. they occur first. When the fourth stage is completed, and only then, the individual experiences the fifth stage, at the completion of which, and only then, the sixth and seventh, respectively, actualize in experience, assuming of course that the individual's progress is not blocked by any of the numerous "obstacles" in the way. The Overcoming of the obstacles precipitate the next jump in the developmental

phase, as some flying ants shed their wings and turn into crawling beings (our example).

The following diagram summarizes Ouspensky's parameters for the first four stages of self-study or objective psychology (our term)--"objective" because it involves treating the self as object (cf. Mead's social behaviorism discussed on p.____).



= [treating the self as object of study]
[Ousensky, The Psychology of Possible Evolution, 1934-1974]






-intellectual function

-mental processes

-concept formation





-word forms










-body physiology

-sensory input (neutral)

-sensory evaluation (preferences)

-unlearned reflexes






-memories of the above ha

-habits involving conditioning of movements

-inner dialog
-etc. i.e.,
__"all uncontrolled
__and uncontrollable
__(p. 28)

The individual who aspires to become a psychologist is one who engages in the systematic study of self, or objective psychology. He must gather the empirical observations on himself which would validate or disconfirm the principles of behavior that he has, and upon which he operates in his interactions with others. For this, he needs technical tools and investigatory procedures. Ouspensky's model is designed to provide a map (or "psychological theory") which the practicing objective psychologist uses to gather the empirical data, against which the individual's current behavior principles can be tested. If the data gathered disconfirm the principles, the individual psychologist must modify them to fit the data. In this manner, his knowledge and expertise accumulates and progresses along the four evolutionary phases. "The four functions" Ouspensky summarizes, "--intellectual, emotional, instinctive and moving--must first be understood in all their manifestations, and later they must be observed in oneself. Such self-observation, that is, observation on the right basis, with a preliminary understanding of the states of con-

sciousness and of different functions, constitutes the basis of self-study; that is, the beginning of psychology." (p. 28)

Note the two procedures required for objective psychology according to 0uspensky, namely,

-(1) an explicit model of psychological functions;

-(2) empirical confirmation through direct observation of

___one's own behavior.
Thus, this model excludes methods of psychological study that fail to gather data through direct observation of one's own reactions, such as the observation of a subject by an experimenter. In the latter procedure, no data are available to confirm or disconfirm hypotheses the individual has about behavior and upon which he continues to operate. As a result, the explanations of the experimenter concerning the person's behavior represents an external source of knowledge; the facts of the experimenter are subjective in the perspective of the person who acts as a subject in an experiment. This is a simple idea yet, as Ouspensky remarks, it has been largely misconstrued by "modern", ''scientific" psychology. The following diagram outlines the situation as presented in this discussion:

It should be stressed that the goals of objective self-study and those of the experimental investigation of subjects are independent. The first stresses understanding and control of the self through observation and increased awareness about the self, and this increased knowledge accrues to the individual. The second stresses understanding, prediction and control of others, and this increased knowledge accrues to the experimenter, not the subject.

The progression of the person from, lower states of consciousness--the first five functions in Ouspensky's psychological model--to the higher states of self-consciousness and objective consciousness, is accomplished through the practice of special techniques provided by teachers or guides who are already conscious in these higher levels. These techniques, though variable across the "schools," have the same objective, namely the facilitation of the development of self-consciousness, unity of individuality, permanent "I", and will (p. 37).

The progression from a lower to a higher state of consciousness thus becomes in Ouspensky's system a change in objective self knowledge. In the lower states of sleep and ordinary waking, man's beliefs about the principles that govern his behavior are subjective and inaccurate. In effect, according to Ouspensky, man learns to lie about himself; that is, he comes to act as if he knew, i.e. to pretend (= self-delusion). These learned pretenses are called personality. They contrast with man's essence, which includes all the qualities with which he is born. Essence cannot be lost or changed; personality varies with particular circumstances, can change, "be lost or easily injured" (p. 42). Essence and personality are two opposing tendencies in man. Personality creates learned likes, dislikes, preferences, habits Of procedure; these are acquired and maintained unconsciously (without awareness through socialization, imitation, language behavior, imagination, and interior dialog (talking to and with oneself). Personality traits, habits, attitudes, and beliefs accrue to an individual cumulatively, for good and for bad 7 whereas essence embodies the natural tendencies of man and these, Ouspensky affirms, are always "healthy and normal" (p. 43). In the proper order Of things, essence dominates personality, not the other way around. In that case, a "developed personality" can be useful rather than obstructionistic. Essence and personality both develop, but at independent rates. Furthermore, "the wrong relative positions of essence and personality determine the present disharmonious state of man. And the only way to get out of this disharmonious state is by self-knowledge." (p. 46).

This brings us back to objective psychology. The two personality tendencies of lying (pretending one knows oneself) and imagining ("imagination" is Ouspensky's term) are dangerous to the individual. They form the basis of "the negative emotions". "violence, depression, self-pity, anger, suspicion, fear, annoyance, boredom, mistrust, jealousy, and so on." (p. 49). These "sincere" weaknesses are mechanical manifestations of personality. To observe them in self-study one needs to resist them long enough to de-automatize; what is imperceptible habit becomes perceivable when the individual raises, through will, obstacles against their quick motion. "With unresisted talking [and imagining] one cannot observe anything, and all the results of a man's observations will immediately evaporate in talking [or thinking]." (p. 5O) Ouspensky singles out the process or function of "identification" as a chief obstacle to the development of a person's essence. Identifying is a necessary condition for the support of personality and its consequent mechanical manifestations of lying, imagination, the expression of negative emotions, and constant talking. Identification is the tendency to confuse the self with personality manifestations: my thoughts, my feelings, my perceptions, my sensations. The distinction to be maintained here is roughly equivalent to the contrast in "my ideas" vs. "the ideas that occur, which I am aware of, and which I realize that occur" (our terms).

As mentioned earlier, Ouspensky insists on two necessary conditions for the development of essence and its dominance over personality: objective self-study and outside help. The latter always comes in the context of a school. The existence of schools pre-suppose personal freedom within a context of tradition, literature, and direct association or relationship with other members of the school and the particular teachings it fosters. Seeking a school, finding one, and joining it as a student are necessary but insufficient; there must be, as well, a subjugation (our term) of the student to the

influences of the teachings so that personality assumes a secondary role and its acquired tendencies inhibited. This comes about when the individual is irresistably attracted to the teachings; then, the impressions produced On the student cumulate, "collect together, attract other influences of the same kind, and grow, occupying a more important place in his mind and life." (p. 67). This accumulation is what Ouspensky refers to as the formation of a "magnetic center" in man: "From then on the ideas and the teaching of the school take the place of the magnetic center and slowly begin to penetrate into the different parts of personality and with time into essence." (p. 69).

A central objective of "school work," according to Ouspensky's account, is the jettisoning (our term) of negative emotions. The latter, like suffering, animates the lives of ordinary persons and fills them with content through the processes of identifying and imagining, as already discussed above. "Right education" (p. 89) can conquer negative emotions by inhibiting identifications and imaginings. "But in actual life things happen quite differently, and with the help of all the examples he can see and hear, with the help of reading, the cinema, and so on [T.V., birthday parties, toys] a child of about ten already knows the whole scale of negative emotions and can imagine them, reproduce them, and identify with them as well as any grown-up man." (p. 89). We may add to this picture of socialization practices (our term) 'corrupting' the child, the picture of assimilation practices designed to influence the adult's identifications with success and his imaginings involving money, fame, power, etc. These educative and acculturating processes enmesh the social individual in a community life whose conditions of living and acting and reacting manifest the subjugation of the individual to mechanical emotions.

The "work" towards self-consciousness must therefore begin with the control of negative emotions, identification, and imaginings. Some schools, notably Zen, use a strategy whereby the individual practices the mastery of control in physical movement; others may use discipline as the central focus, i.e. the unquestioned obedience to instructions. The struggle against mechanical emotions and imaginings takes-the form of "self-remembering" or trying "to remember oneself" (p. 93).

Objective Biography. Bio- means "life" and -graphy is an Indo-European derivative denoting to scratch, incise, or record. Biography is therefore the record of life; objective biography is an objective record of life.

Objective records are records that are verifiable. Contrast this with subjective records; these are not verifiable by "third persons." Verifiability of records is accomplished through witnesses, i.e. community members who act within an official role called "giving testimony." Objective records of life are, therefore, made by individuals who keep track of the conduct, thoughts, feelings, and noticings of a person. These objective biographer, are called in this book, Society's Witnesses (SW's).

There are three channels of operation available to an SW (refer to accompanying diagram). These are: reporting, annotating, and witnessing. You may think of these as titles for three methods you can use for keeping track-. making records of life (= objective biography). All three methods are essential; without any one of them, biography cannot be objective--cannot be authentic and complete.

It is very important to examine the differences between these three methods of keeping track. With each, there is associated a different function (or process). The function of reporting is to keep track of the psychodynamic modality of biography, i.e. the self of the person. Reporting is a record of where the self is.

To be a member of a community implies a socio-legal identity, a reputation, and a unique appearance (face, body, style). Hence, each member of a community has a unique biography, i.e. a person has a unique objective record of life.

At the same time, a person is also a member of various groups. The individual shares social features with other individuals. For example, when you shop at a supermarket you are unique in one way and standardized in a second way. If you keep track of your actions, noticings, feelings, and ideas, or at least some of them, you are making a record of (part of) your psychodynamic life--the unique sequence of your subjective life (= self). This record is called a report (e.g., of 10 things you noticed, five sentences you said to yourself, and how many apples you bought). But at the same time that you are unique, in another respect you are standardized: you push the cart ahead of you and try not to bump into things; you may or may not look at and/or worry about prices; you are either the type that steals

or not; should there be a fire alarm, you would exit like everyone else, etc.

You thus share with others standardized features of your conduct, whether in your overt behavior or in your private reactions to the environment. When you react to the fire alarm, or to someone dropping a bottle, you're noticing what others also could notice. Your reaction is not unique or personal; what you notice, and what you ignore, are functions of the socialized environment. We call this shared reactivity to social environments by the name of ethnodynamics. "Ethno-" refers to culture--people, living in community. "Dynamics" refers to laws of action and force. Thus, ethnodynamics refers to that aspect of you whereby you react to social stimuli in common with others with whom you share your daily round.

To keep track of your ethnodynamic life is somewhat more complicated than reporting. Reporting is easy: you are being asked a question, and the answer ''pops" into your head, automatically. Or, you are describing what you see: you don't have to think--the sentences come out spontaneously. Or, you are being asked to evaluate an object on some scale: do you like it? do you agree? would you buy it? do you usually do X under conditions Y? etc. In all these cases, reporting is easy.

Suppose, now, that you are asked to explain why you reported observation X? For example, after you answered you'd vote for candidate A, the Form instructs you to "please explain why." This is not a mere report you're being asked: it's a comment on something else you did. This is a little more complicated. We call it annotating.

You might visualize the event at point zero, then the report would be at distance 1 unit away from it. Now if you treat this report as an event (as it is), then a report about this event is not just an ordinary report-- it is a report about a report, i.e. an annotation. The reason annotations are somewhat difficult (rather than spontaneous) is that they ordinarily form the background of our life while reports are in the foreground. This makes sense pragmatically and economically since one is limited in focus of attention, hence whatever is shared in common can be assumed, and need not be refered to or talked about.

You've noticed that children can report quite well: they tell what happened, what they see, and what they think at a mile a minute. Their awareness of psychodynamic life is keen as shown by fears and joys irrepressibly expressed. But as soon as you ask them to annotate their reports of psychodynamic life, their spontaneity ceases. They have difficulty telling you why they are afraid of strangers in the dark; if asked to explain or comment, they give you another report instead. They may say, "I'm afraid because a monster might get me"--which is not an explanation or comment but another report, a report of their theory or hypothesis as to why they are afraid.

To give an annotation (comment, explanation) one would have to first obtain some observations other than, what's my theory on this. One would have to note, for instance, the circumstances that occasion the fears. Thus, the child would have to say that he is afraid when he imagines monsters "out there" but not afraid at other times. This is an annotation of his

fear of darkness. You might say that it is an annotated report or, a report about a report, but not that it is a (mere) report. It is one step removed from ordinary reports.

Similarly when you react to the crashing bottle on the supermarket floor, or when your eyes are attracted to the contours of another shopper: you are making an annotation. But with most things on the daily round that we share in common (= ethnodynamics), we are not quite aware of them. Our noticings and feelings allow us to conduct ourselves in a normal manner without having to remember them for more than a fraction of a second, or, a second or two. Then they're gone, replaced by the next in line, and so on. The "stream" of our noticings and sensations is hidden in the background level of adaptation to normalcy conditions. Hence to be able to de-automatize long enough to record the background (time, place, circumstance) is difficult at first. However, this type of recording, i.e. annotating, is essential if we wish to make an objective record of ethnodynamic life--the life of community.

If you visualize the event at zero, the report at 1, and the annotation at 2, then witnessing is at point 3. While reporting is a spontaneous expression of the self, and annotating is a self-conscious effort at de-automatizing the community background, witnessing concerns neither the self, nor the community; instead, witnessing concerns the person's spiritual modality (channel).

Witnessing refers to "third person testimony." This is neither a report of your psychodynamic life (e.g., opinions, feelings, theories), nor an annotation of the ethnodynamic conditions of their occurence (e.g., I'I am sleepy"--"That's what happens when I go to bed after 2 A.M. the night before and get up in time for my 8 o'clock class"). After completing your report and after making an annotation to it, you can witness the totality of your relationship to the event. This is not easy to do, and is not required ordinarily on your daily round. You can function as an adequate social individual with a minimum of witnessing, a modicum of annotating, and a maximum of reporting.

Witnessing requires spiritual understanding, i.e. a grasp of the whole, apart from the parts. Since the parts are item-ized, they are reductions of the un-itemized whole. The new functional feature that emerges with totality can appropriately be called spiritual. Spiritual behaviors are functions of such human characteristics as will, consciousness, intuition, awakening. To be able to record one's witnessings requires special exercises and help.

When you are serving as courtroom witness, your first task, that of reporting, is fairly easy, even under the stress of the situation. You tell what you remember, what you saw, what your current assessment is. Your second task is to annotate your report. Thus, if you say, "I saw him on the park bench," you should be prepared to mark the approximate time of the day.

As you know, courtroom witnessing operates on a pre-arranged system of defense and prosecuting "sides." You always appear on behalf of one side or the other, whatever your own opinions might be. Since the totality of a

social event is very complex, witnessing is an involved operation. It takes "two sides" to accomplish witnessing, whereas only one side to accomplish reporting and annotating. That is why witnessing is animated in a way reporting and annotating are not.

Children cannot be courtroom witnesses. This is because their testimony isn't credible. What does it take to be a witness?

It takes functioning between two sides. This means, understanding the context of the overall actuality. As a courtroom witness, you have to know, (i) what is a Court of Law, (ii) how your testimony relates to either one or the other side, (iii) realize the consequences of what you say when asked questions by either side. These three requirements are complex, beyond the reach of ordinary children's performances. Their testimony would be easily invalidated by the "other side" showing a deficiency in the third requirement. 0f course, "adults" can also be like children in many respects. This is why courtroom witnesses get demolished and their testimony is invalidated, i.e. does not function as witnessings. This is also why witnesses are coached and trained ahead of time.

This is the key in witnessing: the preparation of the person.

Objective biography is a complete record of life. To accomplish it requires reporting, annotating, and preparation for witnessing. Early conditioning of emotions to social symbols (= neurosemantics) provides the etiology of our psychodynamic life. This can be found in the variegated reportings which the community practices in the form of attributions, evaluations, and judgments (= Community-Cataloguing Practices, "CCP's"). Socialization and assimilation practices (= contingency management) provide the etiology of our ethnodynamic life. This in turn can be found in the innumerable annotations we can make to a report or record (meanings, implications, pre- suppositions). Finally, preparing for witnessing is an astrodynamic record of life since it involves consciousness and spirit, features which are extra- planetary (= spiritual; non-material energy).

Scientific thought tends towards reductionism, i.e. when method takes precedence over content. In this fashion, there is a persistent effort to reduce the phenomena of biographical witnessing to either an ethnodynamic force (e.g. Karl Marx), or a psychodynamic force (e.g. Sigmund Freud). The contributions of William James in witnessing spiritual phenomena have been persistently kept out of the social psychology textbooks. Even if mentioned, they are given only a few pages of space, at the most. This shows that the scientific method as practiced currently in psychology tends to emphasize experimental paradigms rooted in reporting (biological psychology) and annotating (social sciences) as forms of objective biography. However, the general community is not biased in the same way, as shown by the role of prayer in people's lives. We have introduced the notion of astrodynamics to allow an objective attitude towards spiritual phenomena and thereby return our orientation towards content. Such a position is more pragmatic, more humane, more intelligent, more respectful of community. It is more in touch with actuality as we live it, and hence, more realistic. It is a better educational tool because it allows you to deal scientifically with the totality of your community life. Astrodynamics is the theoretical elaboration we propose for the positive bias (see also, James and Nahl, 1975-77 for a more formal treatment).

Synopsis 17. The Evolution of Consciousness

There is a popular and frequent portrayal of the scientific method as standing in opposition to the factuality of man's spiritual life. This may be called the "negative bias." Though understandable in historical terms, it seems to us that contemporary social psychology no longer has the same motivation for retaining the exclusivity of the negative bias and when we look into the world's great writings, we discover that the negative bias of science was merely the dominant position, or perhaps the most visible, and that all along, the positive bias was being upheld by the majority of scientific writers in European history. To mention but a few well known examples, we cite the names of Aristotle, Plato, Galileo, Newton, Darwin, Leibniz, Pascal, Descartes, Goethe, Wundt, James, Dewey, Einstein--all of whom helped build the science we know and at the same time re-affirmed their support for the positive bias. It is clear, then, that the scientific method is being prosecuted with either the negative or the positive bias towards the existence of spiritual phenomena in human behavior.

P. D, Ouspensky is a non-academic "psychologist" who for the past forty years has advocated the positive bias as more fruitful an approach to the understanding of human behavior than the negative bias which is held by most academic psychologists in the 20th century. Ouspensky reminds us that evolutionary theory--the prime explanatory system in biology--fails to take into account much existing evidence which points to the existence of earlier "high" civilizatiolls that cannot be explained on the theory of man's lowly origins (e.g., the pyramids, Stonehenge, and other early archaeological remnants).

Ouspensky sees man's possible evolution as largely un-realized. The stages of consciousness to which man has access by virtue of his "essential nature" are potentials that every individual can attain, but few actually do The reason is, according to Ouspensky, that man is a machine, but a deluded machine, attributing to himself the powers he does not possess, namely autonomy of choice and action. The latter presupposes the attainment of consciousness, awareness, or will, but these in fact are states of evolution for every individual, to be achieved through individual growth within a life time. Thus, for Ouspensky, man's evolution is a matter of individual achievement based on progress in three dimensions: "duration" (how long one was conscious), "frequency" (how often one became conscious), and "penetration" (of what one was conscious).

Ouspensky specifies a program of training and study that is designed to help an individual evolve along his path towards realizing "objective consciousness," i.e., self-consciousness. This program involves the successful progression over seven stages of development of the personality from machine-hood to spiritual-hood (i.e., from emotional life functions to higher consciousness functions). Ouspensky insists that the beginnings of an objective psychologist must lie in self-study in one's natural habitat. Objective self-study reveals the "delusional" character of personality (learned habits and traits) that creates the illusion of the

"continuity" of self as well as its autonomy. But in fact, man is unaware of most of his experiences as is revealed when examining ordinary life: we fail to keep track of most of the innumerable moments of life showing that the subjective experiences of "I" are but intermittant and un-recorded. "De-automatization" of emotional life is necessary to become aware of the process of "identification"--the chief psychological cause of personality and "negative emotions" (fear, mistrust, boredom, etc.).

Objective self-study requires special techniques of keeping track. We are proposing three methods for this: reporting, annotating, and witnessing. "Reporting" is a spontaneous or automatic process (as in answering questions); it furnishes the contents of psychodynamic life (attributions, evaluations, judgments). ''Annotating" is more difficult and requires a modicum of objectivity; it furnishes the focus of ethnodynamic life ( = situational forces in social settings). Finally, "witnessing" furnishes the contents of astrodynamic life; it requires de-automatization and reflection and is dependent on one's grasp of the "totality" of one's relationship to the environment. The realization of this totality is a spiritual achievement. Together, reporting, annotating, and witnessing constitute "objective biography."

Bird Stories (16) by Leon James

The social organization in a backyard avian community replicates many of the characteristics of human social life. By drawing the correspondences between them and us, we can gain an especially informative perspective on ourselves. The attainment of this perspective is helpful in gaining a deeper understanding of social psychological phenomena.

Consider the issue of biographic phases of life, i.e. what in social psychology is called "developmental stages" or "age gradients" in "socialization patterns." The following 7 stages summarize and classify the socialization pattern of the four species in our avian community.










1. Like the fetus in utero, the bird in the egg is affected by surrounding conditions: being rolled around, temperature and humidity changes, age at hatching. Some eggs never hatch, dry out, are eaten by ants, or are discarded by the parents. Selection in survival is already operating.

2-3. The survival of a hatchling appears incredibly improbable. Frail, pink, unfeathered, weak, and blind, a bird hatchling gradually becomes stronger, fights its way to the center Of the brood where it's warmest, and slowly but inevitably, Opens its eyes, grows gorgeous feathers, learns to emit strident distress calls to which the parents frantically respond. One day, attracted no doubt by that mysterious window to the world it sees its parents disappear from, it pokes its head out to see what it can see. It takes weeks of this look-see orientation before the nestling youth screws up enough courage to penetrate into that world of light, sound, and adventure.

4. Nestlings that emerge from the nestbox are greeted and acknowledged by the rest of the community. Even before that, there is hardly an adult bird in the community that has not poked its head inside the box, curious, no doubt, about the sounds inside. But when the big day comes and the infant makes its first appearance in the outside community, everyone contributes to its education. Infant birds are physically immature and socially incompetent. They need the permissiveness and special adjustment of the adults in the community. They continually violate many Of the rules which govern territorial access rituals. They blunder into restricted areas, disregard feeding lines, bump into others, fall, get stuck, and disturb siesta time with their antics and "play." In all of this, the parents and the other adults, remain quite patient and tolerant, getting out of their way, giving an assist, or gently disciplining them when they get too exuberant.

5. There comes a point when infants are no longer allowed to get away with just anything. Each is now a lone adolescent, in business for itself, exploring life, self, and relationship. Parents pay less and less protective attention as they get busy with the next brood. If lucky, the adolescent finds a compatible companion. Together, they get older, stronger, more competent; they perch next to each other, they horse around, they groom, and touch beaks. If not so lucky, the pre-adult grows to full membership with the status of singlehood and gets eventually integrated into the daily round schedule.

6. There is a marked difference in the life of an adult in paired status versus in singlehood. Young single adults have a rough time. They are always in the way Of mated ?airs nesting, courting or feeding. They seem to have no organizing purpose in life. They act timidly and submissively. As soon as they pair up, however, they appear energized by their role responsibilities. The paired male adult is treated with new respect by others, as well as treating himself with new self-respect. Being busy and having duties gives him added status in the community. He is allowed to court other females on the side (especially, parakeets) though he retains primary responsibility for his mate. He also forms friendships with other mated males.

7. Old age comes about when the adult becomes physically incapable, slows down, and spends a lot of time perching quietly, or sleeping. When the physical handicap is severe (e.g. inability to fly), the bird 5ecsmes a total isolate, is ignored by others, or treated permissively as infants are. When the bird dies, its body "disappears" within two or three days, carried away by the ants, little morsel by little morsel. ,here appears to be no sign of acknowledgement among the birds of the dying phase of life.


There can hardly be a nicer expression in the English language than "I wish. " We say, I wish you a merry Christmas, a happy birthday, success in your projects, good luck, and the fulfillment of all your dreams. What nicer set could there be?

At the same time, (shivers and horrors!), there can hardly be a worse thought than the thoughts that sometimes go with a negative 'I wish": I wish him bad luck, bad experiences, bad dreams, and bad health. How awful!

What is this wishing business, anyway?

We will examine what some other psychologists have written about this basic subject after we've considered the matter ourselves so that we may have a ready context for that examination. Hopefully, this discussion will encourage you to keep track where and when your behavior is a function of this astrodynamic force (astro- = stellar; planetary system, hence, the field forces acting upon us through interstellar space).

First, let us do some debunking. This is desirable because science and religion are notorious bad mixers. The story goes that science deals only with natural phenomena, which means, with matter and energy and time or anything that exists in our dimension of space-time. So that is supposed to leave "non- material things" out; things like spirits, ghosts, death, hell, the devils, God, soul. Hence: religion and science, spiritual inquiries and rational empiricism, don't mix.

That's a cute story, but its logic is dead wrong. The argument rests on a shaky presupposition (assumption, premiss, background hypothesis), namely, that the spiritual forces are not material. That's plain wrong thinking. Ask anyone who insists on its correctness to prove it. After all, science proceeds by "trial and proof" (= "experiment"). But you should quickly add that you don't mean to ask for a summary of experimental findings. Because you want to avoid the research game. This matter is much too serious to leave in the hands of the Null Hypothesis !

What would be relevant and convincing? What kind of data?

The answer is quite simple. What function does wishing play in my behavioral adjustments ? Skinner's (1957) comments on the similar idea of "prayer" are note- worthy. He likens prayer to superstitious behavior, and demonstrates with data on pigeon-pecking-rates, that it depends on an insidious characteristic of avoidance responses, well known to learning theory psychologists. To explain, the pigeon is first conditioned to do any sort of "antics" behavior, like walking around with its beak dragging on the ground, or twirling around like a dervish. This is accomplished by feeding the pigeon a corn each time it emits the awkward behavior.

Actually, successive steps are used, rewarding the animal for further and further departures of usual behavior. once conditioned to twirl around, or peck at a furious rate for hours, the reward schedule is discontinued. Does the behavior extinguish now that doing the abnormal acts no longer get rewarded with corn? The answer is, No. The pigeon acts dumb: he continues to peck, twirl, and drag its beak. Skinner says it's because the pigeon doesn't get to find out that the reward contingencies have been discontinued by the experimenter. So it is with praying, Skinner pro- poses. A person gets conditioned to pray through social reinforcements, mostly of a "symbolic" nature. This means that, say, as a child, you're told by the loved ones and the respected ones that God is in Heaven and your soul will be reunited one day. Naturally, you're led into praying, and the belief that by praying, you can affect the course of events in your life, and the life of others. But, Skinner argues, this conditioning to praying is very difficult to extinguish later in life, when presumably you're more rational and can figure out that, pray and wish as much as you like, your rent will not get paid unless your account covers the check. However, your rational behavior is insufficient to counteract (or "inhibit") the old praying habit, so it continues as an innocuous form of superstitious behavior that is maintained because the person does not find out that it doesn't really work.

This argument, attractive because of its simplicity, is nevertheless quite inadequate. It jumps the gun in the inquiry race. It presupposes that praying doesn't work, because if it did, we should be able to prove it by the contingency argument. This means proof by functional analysis. The idea is to show that circumstance c is the cause of behavior b:

internal drive state}<------
timing of reinforcement}<--
specific intervention}<-----


-->{bar press
-->{pigeon peck
-->{verbal behavior

Let us take a concrete example to see how this theoretical system works. Suppose you're conditioning yourself not to have bad thoughts about people. 'Having bad thoughts' becomes the behavior to be reduced in frequency, possibly even to an extremely low frequency. Now we need to know exactly when the behavior occurs, i. e., the circumstances that reinforce the bad-thinking behavior, and continue to maintain it at a level you deem too high. We now need to identify "having bad thoughts about other people" with something more manageable than thoughts; perhaps, "saying silently to yourself bad things about other people" (e. g., "Lucy is a gossip and has a crooked nose."). Now we're ready. Whenever you say any of the things that fall in the designated category, you note the antecedents of the behavior, i. e., the "discriminant stimuli" which are present at the precise moment you say a thing to yourself that falls in the bad category. By making this observation, you

identify the controlling stimulus. For example, you find that you say these bad things to yourself when you attribute an undesirable event or state of affairs to another person. Seeing that person X is behaving not nicely towards you, you then say not nice things to yourself about that person. By doing badly, the person becomes bad. once you've got this much figured out, you can cure yourself by selecting another, incompatible thing to say under these circumstances. Instead of saying "That loud kid deserves a bad turn to teach him a lesson, "you can say, "That kid is getting me worked up. " At first, you'll have the tendency to say the first bad thing you can think of whenever the critical circumstance occurs, i. e., when you lose your cool and start cussing. But, if you persist in rewarding yourself (on a pre-established schedule and rate) for the incompatible behavior ("I won't lose my cool. "), it eventually will win over the other, and replace it. The diagram depicts this substitution technique:

You can note that the previous bad behavior (b_1) is now blocked (extinguished), and is replaced by the better behavior (b+1). The meaning of the situation, C (losing my cool), is now altered. A different functional arrangement now holds for the relation between a response and the occasion that maintains its operation.

To use an analogous "trial and proof" technique in the investigation of pray- ing, we could presumably discover the circumstances under which we pray, and thereby, alter, if we wanted to, our praying behavior. Even if successful, such an attempt would be quite irrelevant to another, entirely separate issue, namely, Does praying work? To investigate this issue about praying, using the same basic contingency idea, you have to reverse the arrow in the conditioning paradigm!

you win the game}<--------------------
you get what you wanted}<------------
something very probable is avioded}<--



The Positive Bias. What kind of a procedure can be used to demonstrate the influence of praying upon circumstances ? This question reverses the negative bias of the Skinnerian proposal: instead of presupposing that praying doesn't work (how, then, can it be proven?! Not fair. ), let us presuppose that it does work, and see where that leads us. This would appear to us to be a fairer position to take, as long as we are being serious about it. It also has the advantage of being more respectful of community feelings, since we found that praying is a common behavior among the students of this course.

The first consequence of what we shall call, the positive bias towards praying, is to get us to establish a rational and orderly context for it. You are already familiar with two components of the field forces that permeate our social world (or 'life-space"). These are the forces carried by situational circumstances (called, ethnodynamics), and, the forces carried by psychological processing (called, psychodvnamics). Now we only need to add a third component, that of astrodynamics, to complete what we shall term. the sociodvnamic trigram (tri- = tres = three).


The accompanying diagram depicts the sociodynamics trigram, its immediate constituent forces, and the social activity zones where they can be commonly witnessed. Here, we shall discuss the third component, namely, astrodynamics .

What's involved in astrodynamics? Several very common ideas we use on the daily round are grounded in an astrodynamic field. Take, for example, the idea of the future. To justify this concept rationally, we must presuppose @a time- line. " Diagrammatically:

unkown distant



\/ immediate past or memory
the present ^ _ _ _the future ^


Time flies, the Latins are supposed to have said ("tempus fugit") in a well-known expression. Time never stops. Time is relative. Einsteinian relativity theory (1905, and subsequent) calculates time as a dependent function of space, density, and position and rate of displacement of the time-keeper or time-keeping instrument. This definition of time may be termed synchronic because it does not refer, at all, to "extension, " i. e., to the "longitudinal" aspect of historical time. The following schema may help you see the conceptual relations involved:

For a discussion on the meaning of "morphogenesis" and the analytic-synthetic contrast, see pp. . Here, we shall examine the implications of the concept of the diachronic time perspective, and its significance for understanding the astrodynamic field.

Astrodvnamics and Consciousness. All great theories of "the present" include a formulation of genesis and of eschatology, i. e., of the origin of things and their final disposition. Darwin's theory of the past takes us back to the ocean-soup-of-life idea, and places "the future" under the forces of survival, genetic mutation, and selection. The physical scientists place "the present" in phenomenological time, i.e., in existence (= natural phenomena), and sensory observations, and places "the future" under the forces of interstellar, or galactic, movement. Primitive and contemporary religions place "the present" as well as "the future" into a cyclical pattern, while 'the past" is always related to an origin in a deity, or a deity's commandments (e. g., "Let there be light. "). Finally, the secular-spiritual theories relate "the past" as well as "the future" to a sociocultural "present" (i.e., existence), and "the present" is defined as a natural phenomenon of consciousness. The following chart will help you study these definitions:


(origin & final disposition)






















We shall be concerned, in this discussion, chiefly with the secular spiritual theories, i.e., with the phenomena of consciousness, essence, and prayer. Though the religions involve, of course, the idea of prayers, it is not, however, the force per se that creates genesis and eschatology. The religious idea of prayer is thus not a formative conception: the future and the present are extensions of the will of deities, just as the past is. In the secular spiritual theories, deities populate the world of consciousness, just as man does. What, then, forms the world and the events in it? The answer: essence forms the past, prayer forms the future, and both are embedded in consciousness.

The concept of essence involves the presupposition of a natural order of things, which includes the idea of a meta-language or code being in a one-to-one relationship with this natural order. This postulate gives rise to the concept of knowledge, or knowing. That is, "knowing" is made up of this meta-language. and therefore, knowing is the basis of contact with actuality (the natural order of things; the way it is; all of this).

The accompanying diagram depicts knowing as an enveloping relationship, or contact, with the natural order of things through the meta-language that is in a one-to-one correspondence to this natural order:

The preceding statement may sound complicated to you, perhaps because you have not been given to think about these matters in the past. But we feel that it is of the utmost importance to bring the activity of praying within the scope of study of social psychology. By relegating praying to a peripheral interest (you will not find it in standard texts), social psychologists are committing two blunders:

(1) they offend community sentiment by ignoring, excluding, or berating

__one of the most cherished personal values, the idea that "In God We

__Trust" is a literal truth (= actuality);

(2) they throw away a possible sociodynamic change agent at a time when

__society is in critical need of more effective ways of controlling

__circumstances .

Neither of these two assertions are counter-scientific. In fact, we see them as logical extensions of social behaviorism, quite in line with the range of empirical techniques provided us by morphogenesis, field theory, and graphics. These are the practical tools we must improve, that society needs. There lies our future.

The application of these tools to daily round techniques for keeping track is already widespread in many activity zones: information sciences, library sciences, computer sciences taxonomic sciences, and so on. The familiar daily round products of these sciences of knowing impressive: the index; the catalogue; the dictionary; the time-table; anatomic charts; molecular charts; genetic codes; the Yellow Pages; and so on. These products of the sciences of knowing are direct applications of developments in morphogenesis, field theory, and graphics. Now we need to continue this successful venture and extend our empirical investigations to the phenomena higher consciousness.

It is easy to distinguish between experimental definitions of consciousness (e.g., William James; Ornstein; Hilgard) and empirical definitions one might give

of higher [sic] consciousness. only in the last case (i. e., "higher"- consciousness is the future formed by praying. Thus, while consciousness is an evolutionary and "light-and-gravity" theory, higher-consciousness is an essence-and-knowing theory. Here we come, at last, to a social behavioristic definition of praying:

Praying is a natural phenomenon of knowing, and knowing

is a functional contact with actuality through the meta-language.
"Functional contact" means any two coupled systems, like the automatic gear shift in your car: what happens with the wheels depend on the axle's functional contact with the gear drives. ". . .with actuality" means, knowing the natural order of things. Praying can be defined as the texting behavior of the future.

Skinner (1957) uses this term in the form of textual behavior, of which reading and recitation, are primary examples. Narratives (stories you tell) are products of textual behavior: the narrator of an event texts the sequence of activity. But, while narratives text the past, praying texts the future!

This may sound quite surprising to you--as well as being a sentence difficult to repeat ten times in a row!

All we need to do now is to show some possible mechanisms that make such a behavioral system possible, i.e., a system where you create your own future. If such mechanisms are empirically productive, the real possibility opens up for the use of praying as a significant community change agent.

The accompanying diagram summarizes this behavioral definition of praying.

The diagram depicts the behavioral mechanisms associated with spiritual phenomena. Quite obviously, what we ordinarily mean by intelligence, and intellectual (or, "verbal") behavior, falls in the category of consciousness. Here we find the most common of the daily round techniques for keeping track. It includes the texting behaviors of discourse production and the generation of talk. The method we've been studying throughout this book, the technique of witnessing, falls in the second category of higher-consciousness. We now need to consider how the witnessing technique relates to knowing, and hence, to praying. For this, we must go back to the Skinnerian technique of contingency management.

Witnessing and Consciousness. We saw how this technique allows us to control our behavior by controlling the circumstance that occasions, or reinforces, the bad behavior. You recall that the successful application of this technique depended on two things: (1) your ability to identify the relevant social stimuli to which your undesirable behavior was conditioned; (2) your success in sticking faithfully to a new regimen of reinforcements (incompatible response).

This is precisely the technique that is involved in annotating. You recall that [witnessing = reporting + annotating]. Annotating an observation is the behavioral mechanism of consciousness. Thus, the discovery of the contingencies of astrodynamic behaviors represents an empirical task which can be pursued through the technique of witnessing (reporting + annotating). Society's Witnesses thus operate in a three-dimensional force field:


The process begins with attributions, evaluations, and judgments. These are various behaviors that are under the control of psychological factors: perceptions, impressions, sensations. oral and written literacy skills (education, learning) gives us the ability to tact (= to label) these psychodynamic phenomena, i. e ., reporting and describing our feelings, imaginings, and concepts. That is stage (1).

Reports of psychodynamic phenomena can then be annotated. These annotations are recorded, i. e., they too, become a report (report on a report). This is stage (2).

Finally, stage (3) consists of mere witnessing. Here, there is no attempt to make a report, yet reporting and annotating occur spontaneously. This is the process of knowing. We need to collaborate, as Society's Witnesses, in keeping watch (= "observing") over the stimuli that reinforce praying and wishing behavior. These spontaneously occurring behaviors are occasioned by a special circumstance, the enabling condition of functional contact or relationship with actuality. By witnessing these occasions, we build on knowing-and-essence. We become better managers of the sociodynamic field. We get more efficient in bringing about a better future. As well, our annotations improve in authenticity, validity, or objectivity. They begin to reflect the natural order of sociocultural life: psycho- dynamic forces are outcomes of ethnodynamic forces, and these in turn, are out- comes of astrodynamic forces. Praying and wishing behaviors are to be seen as preceding social circumstances, therefore forming the antecedents of behavior. They occur spontaneously as consciousness phenomena, and their function is to text the future. That is their meaning and purpose. Texting the future is the behavior of mere witnessing and this serves to cumulate the influences of knowing. The more knowing occurs spontaneously, the better is the astrodynamic contingency management. Thus, the future improves. Reporting and annotating are witnessing behaviors. They serve to identify the psychodynamic and ethnodynamic forces that are given in our experience. our empirical task is to accumulate the data on this cyclical process of reporting - annotating, reporting - annotating. The Daily Round Archives (DRA) is the beginning of this task. As a student of social psychology, you are practicing this process. Upon your learning depends the community's knowing. Because the community, that's us.

See also The Relation Between Gravity and Love

Synopsis 18: Towards a Behavioral Technology of Praying

The possibility of a "technology of praying" arises when we re-interpret the Skinnerian operant model of behavior, from its current context of the negative bias to its context within the positive bias. To do this, we need to reverse the presumed direction between environmental contingency and behavior: we need, in other words, to investigate how acts of praying (wishing, meditating, etc.) are functionally related to changes in circumstance Thus to the sequence, [contingency --> behavior], we need to add, [praying contingency --> behavior.

These two paradigms represent the negative and positive bias, respectively, Taken jointly, they establish the "sociodynamics" of behavior, i.e., the view that behavior is to be calculated as a resultant of three types of forces: situational ( = ethnodynamics), psychological ( = psychodynamics), and spiritual ( = astrodynamics). The first corresponds to "the past" (or, the embedding context), the second corresponds to "the present" (or, the on-going context of circumstances), and the third corresponds to "the future" (or, the context that is being set-up).

Approaches to the definition of "time" include those of Darwinian evolution theory ( = synchrony + diachrony + evolution); Einsteinian relativity theory (phenomenology + gravity & light + gravity & light); religious theories (cyclicity + God + cyclicity); and secular spiritual theories (higher consciousness + essence + prayer or knowing). (In the previous sentence, the items enclosed in parenthesis stand for the definitions of present, past, and future, respectively.)

Secular spiritual theory presupposes a natural order of things ("Nature"), as well as a governing code or meta-language that may be called "spiritual knowing." Through the act of knowing, man has access to the natural order of things ( = "truth" or objectivity). This contact with essence through a natural language code (speech and thought) is defined as spiritual knowing, or just "knowing." Its content is expressed in the form of true and false "propositions" (or, predications). The negative bias views the proposition "In God We Trust" as a psychological phenomenon reflecting truths about attitudes and beliefs of people. The positive bias views "In God We Trust" as a spiritual phenomenon reflecting truths about knowing--it takes it literally, in other words, i.e., as a definition of the natural order of things ( = actuality). In the first view, God is an attitudinal object in an individual's belief system; in the second, God is an actual object in consciousness, and where the world exists within consciousness.

The direct consequence of admitting the value of the positive bias in science is the incorporation of "praying" as a method for "circumstantial modification," or, the modification of circumstances that are not accessible to current methods of modification available with the negative bias. This hinges on the acceptance of praying as a natural phenomenon, rather than a mere psychological one. In that case, praying may be redefined in behavioristic terms as "the texting of the future," in the same sense that narratives or story-telling is defined by Skinner as "texting the past." Effective texting of the future, i.e., effective praying, becomes then a technical problem investigatable through the behavioristic methods of "contingency management.

Bird Stories (17) by Leon James

When you become a regular witness to the daily round of an avian community, you begin to watch the on-going events in a new dramatic perspective that is fully as absorbing as T.V., but I dare say, much more informative. I'm not knocking T.V. per se, but I find T.V. programming singularly uninteresting, even if absorbing. On the other hand, watching a community daily round, whether avian or human (or sciurine, or simian, Or formic, etc.). reveals cultural phenomena and principles. Let me illustrate by sketching various simple situations which show the socio-cultural and social psychological forces in operation in a socially organized "space," region, or field. Let me call this interest the sociodynamics of place.

Assume that two courting parakeets do their thing on a perch. This can be schematically graphed in field theory concepts as follows:

Area "b" is the immediate, or proximal territory of occupation, while area "a" is distal. These two areas are differentially charged, valued, or valenced. To show this, consider two different situations happening in the same place, but at different times, i.e. under different circumstances (circum- = surrounding, round, around; -stances = standing; to stand) or conditions. In other words, we'll look at two different social occasions occurring in one place.

Note that situations A and B (= COURTING) contrasts with situations C and D (= GROOMING). Let us call this first contrast, situational. Note that the arrangement of the three parakeets is parallel: arrangement 1 (A and C) can be written FFM, to show an adult unmated female next to the female of the mated pair; arrangement 2, can therefore be graphed as FMF (B and D). The second contrast is therefore the arragement contrast (FFM vs. FMF).

The contrasts involved can also be represented as a 2 X 2 contingency matrix:


Courting || Grooming

FFM 1a || FFM 1b

FMF 2a || FMF 2b


We thus have four occasions (A, B, C, D) and two arrangements (1, 2) giving us the following contrasts:

{[ 1A vs. 1B ]}
{[ 2A vs. 2B ]}


{[ 1A vs. 2A ]}
{[ 1B vs. 2B ]}


Now we are ready to consider the data. What are the behaviors of the parakeets under the four conditional contrasts? The following table summarizes my Observations:










F1 attacks F2 at a

no attacks on F2 at a

no attack on F2 at a

no attack on F2 at a

This says that the second female parakeet gets attacked only under arrangement FFM where FM are engaged in courting. This means that the territoriality valence of area a (charge, force) varies, changes, is altered as a result of the ongoing activity in interaction with the arrangement of individuals on. the perch. This interaction effect can be graphed as follows:




" - ', off limits
"O", neutral
"O", neutral
"O", neutral

There are many human situations that conform to this sociodynamic principle. The sight of a courting couple on a park bench, acts as a repellent to a polite stroller-by; but when they are sitting, talking or reading, the other end of the bench is neutral; the passer-by may sit there. Similar social cues function to affect arrangement at a cafeteria table, in the library, or in class. Chart the sociodynamic forces involved in these human situations and you'll see the principles in operation.


We shall illustrate some of the advantages of adopting the positive bias toward praying by applying some recent advances in field theory concepts. We are drawing on Rene Thom's exciting work in morphogenesis (1972; 1975) and on Zeeman's clarifying presentation of it in a recent Scientific American article (April 1976, pp. 65-83).

We would like to show the empirical advantages and theoretical reasonableness of the view that the world of appearances (= "natural phenomena") is a local outcome (= "ethnography") of sociodynamic forces generated by community life.

We need to outline, first, the theoretical components of "community life, " then we shall position these components into a topological system based on "catastrophe theory"--this being the mathematical expression used by topologists Leibniz, Newton, Moebius, Riehmann, Maxwell, Einstein, Lewin, Thom); finally, we shall show how the model of catastrophe theory can be employed to account for how the future is created.

(1) The Theoretical Components of Community:

Webster's helps us identify the ideas that we inherit from tradition concerning community life and future-making. The word "community" means "to exchange together" (co- = together + *mei = to exchange). This idea gives us the first dimension of planetary life, i. e., a variability in field property derivable from "space" or "region. " The creation of a dynamic dimension through interchange is basic to all natural phenomenon. Electromagnetic fields are established when elementary particles, waves, or forms are brought together in time/place so that an interchange takes place. This interchange (= functional contact) creates directional forces (= vectors; energy) that eventuate in observable phenomena = world of appearance.

For example, biochemical reactions are natural phenomena that eventuate when clusters of cells (= organic life) have regular interchanges, i. e., are in state of community existence. Physico-chemical reactions occur when elements, particles, and molecular structures are brought into interchanges with each other. Finally, sociocultural phenomena eventuate when individual organisms live together (communally), have communal exchanges, form groups and institutions.

Let us refer to this first dimension by the name of astrodynamics. We can identify two basic aspects of astrodynamics. one modality (or face) is that of gravity or love; the other is community consciousness. These are both media of manifestations. Thus, the elementary force that governs the natural components of particles and waves is called gravity, and is observable as attraction and repulsion. The elementary force that governs the natural components of knowing and being is called consciousness. Gravity and consciousness are therefore the two manifesting modalities (= spatial or field properties) of astrodynamics.

The second dimension is called ethnodynamics whose two aspects are syrnbolizing and winning. The modality of "symbolizing" is a sociocultural operation, and includes the idea of "tradition, " "ritual, " "custom, " and so on. The modality of "winning" is a group operation, and includes the idea of "striving together" and "succeeding in achieving a specified condition" (Webster's).

The third dimension is called psychodynamics; its two aspects are dramatizing and annotating. The modality of "dramatizing" is a thematic operation, and includes "imaginings, " "legends, " "myths. " The modality of annotating is a witnessing operation, and includes "topical description, " "reporting," "describing. "

We summarize these theoretical components in the accompanying diagram.










Note that there are three topological dimensions (= types of energy fields), and each has two spatial or regional properties (= aspect; modality; medium). Gravity or love, and consciousness, are two basic directional orientations in planetary existence. They give us attraction/repulsion as one vector, and consciousness/chance as the other vector. Here we have the idea that attraction corresponds to design in consciousness, i. e., consciousness has structural properties in "future-making": events occur either by design (consciousness) or by chance. Symbolizing and winning are also two basic directional orientations: they derive from the spatial property of ethnodynamics, or communal exchanges. Dramatizing places events in time and sequence through thematic or topical structures, while annotating orients to the witnessing modality.

We now derive the intermediate theoretical components from these basic ones. As the accompanying diagram shows, astrogenesis, ethnogenesis, and psychogenesis, are the three formative concepts. They each involve three scalar points.










Love, consciousness, and chance are the three genetic sources (or formative surfaces. that derive from planetary existence. Applied to individual life, astrogenesis yields biographics, i.e., the science of future-making. Presuppositions, implications, and meanings are three sources that derive from sociocultural existence. Finally, attributions, evaluations, and judgments, are three sources that derive from "psychical" or psychological considerations.

Now we are ready for the second step, which is to relate these theoretical definitions to each other in the catastrophe model.

(2) The CatastroPhe Model of Future-Making:

The accompanying diagram depicts the model in operation. Note that it has two 'surfaces, " i.e., two coupled manifolds that are in functional contact. The upper surface is to be visualized as a flat sheet folded over in its middle. The flat surface slopes downward so that movement from right to left on the surface simultaneously dips downward. Thus, point A is to the right and up, while point B is to the left and lower. Note that community consciousness is on the upper edge of this future-making surface; as you move away from this direction, towards the left, you're moving down towards the other end, gravity/chance. This up-down movement is in the vertical axis called astrogenesis.

The left-right movement is in the axes of psychogenesis and ethnogenesis, each moving in independent directions, as indicated on the bottom surface, called present-surface. This bottom surface is a collapsed, two-dimensional projection of the upper surface containing the fold. The term "bifurcation set" is used in these types of topological models to refer to the two-dimensional plot that is derived from a point-by-point projection from the upper to bottom surfaces. In other words, the natural phenomena which make up the present (now; here) are calculated as being direct projections from the interaction of dynamic forces in future-making behavior. Let us now see, how the model is useful to derive empirically verifiable hypotheses.

(3) Dramatizing Catastrophe:

The accompanying diagram shows how future-making is set as the locus for creating antecedents whose consequents are observable in the natural phenomena of the present.

Point A is "up" in the astrodynamic zone, i.e., it marks community consciousness functions. Path AA shows a movement downward towards the psycho- dynamic side of the future-making surface. As you move across from right to left, you get to the fold on the surface. Since the surface folds over, the downward movement along path AA suddenly switches from witnessing to dramatizing (e. g., desiring). Moving in the opposite direction along path BB, you start from a psycho- dynamic function (e. g., wishing), get to the fold curve, and abruptly switch over

into the witnessing zone which is governed by ethnodynamic forces (e. g., loving) Path CC starts in a relatively neutral zone (e. g., reporting), moves down and hits the fold curve. It re-emerges "catastrophically" at the lower zone of psychodynamics (e.g., hoping).

Now these movements project themselves in a one-to-one correspondence on the bottom surface of the present. The bifurcation curve shows the resultants of the more complex movements of the top surface. Note that corner 1 is marked as the intersection point between "material antecedents" and "objectivity. " This corner is an "attraction point": it acts to attract movement on the surface towards itself. The pull is felt along the three dimensions: astrodynamic (e.g., pull towards the discovery of objective statements on the laws of nature--objective expressions of material laws or "cause-effect propositions"); ethnodynamic (e.g., social psychological propositions on group effects on the individual); and psycho- dynamic (e.g., objectifying experience) .

Corner 2 is the attraction point for objective spiritual propositions. Again the pull exerts itself in the three dimensions: astrodynamic (e. g., propositions about our distant past); ethnodynamic (propositions about historical laws); psychodynamic (propositions about our future).

Corner 3 is opposite in valence to Corner 1. It represents a pull towards subjective material antecedents: propositions on the limits of knowing, as in "scientism" (astrodynamic dimension of pull); propositions reducing the mind to the brain as an explanation for social behavior (the pull in the ethnodynamic dimension); propositions concerning the impulsive and uncontrollable action of emotions (the pull in the psychodynamic dimension).

Finally, Corner 4 is the attraction point for subjective spiritual antecedents in the astrodynamic dimension, this pull is exemplified by the cult of power, ordinary and magical; in the ethnodynamic dimension, the subjective spiritual antecedents attract myths of creation and chaos; in the psychodynamic dimension, an example of subjective spiritual antecedents is the experience of mediumship. The four corners, and their definition, are summarized in the following schematic:

Note from this schematic, and from the diagram, how one moves across opposite corners. From 3 to 1, the movement takes material antecedents out of individual consciousness, and brings the path towards community consciousness (down-up, on the vertical axis of diagram). Thus, the [3-->1] direction indicates an increase in degree of objectivity: as your statements and beliefs become more objective, the material antecedents of what makes your future, become reflected in your consciousness. This means that you are moving away from individual aspects of consciousness (subjective desires, for example).

The movement [4-->1] remains within the community consciousness zone (up, on the vertical axis in diagram), but as it moves towards greater objectivity, the nature of the witnessing changes from a dark or opaque thematic content to a light, clear one. We may call this the polarity of the movement. The dark pole attracts witnessings of community consciousness whose thematic content is esoteric and out of the ordinary. The light polarity attracts the ordinary witnessings of the daily round and general, public, and common life.

Moving across the [1-->2] axis takes you across the boundary of material/ spiritual. The "neutral, " middle zone of this path is observational description: moving towards 1, it becomes more materialistic, i.e., it concerns only visible or "gross" sensory phenomena; moving towards 2, observational description becomes more spiritual, i.e., it concerns only subtle phenomena.

Finally, moving across the [3-->4] axis, we see in diagram that it is considerably longer than the other three because of the fold curve in the pleated surface The movement is therefore complex: starting from corner 3, inauthentic material beliefs grounded in individual consciousness, we move upward towards community consciousness and less materialism until we get to the bend; then, continuing to move higher towards community consciousness, the path reverses around the fold, and heads back toward material beliefs, until the second bend; then a second reversal occurs, and this time it heads towards the dark spiritual pole. Let us use a new diagram to summarize the above:

Note that we can label the features of each corner, as follows:

attraction zone 1

attraction zone 2

attraction zone 3

attraction zone 4

These four attraction zones are characteristically exemplified by the activities of the sciences, the humanities, scientism, and sorcery, respectively. These are, then, the four corners of future-making that characterize human societies, their creation and maintenance. Movement on this four-cornered, pleated, sloping surface traces the future-making activities which project to the bottom surface, the actuality of the present (bifurcation set). The catastrophy theory model allows us to predict the present from the future-making.

The Sociodynamics of Praying. When LAJ was a child, family custom required that a prayer be said before eating anything. There was a prayer for each type of food (fruit, vegetables, bread, meat, etc. ), but every prayer started with the same

phrase in Hebrew: "Baruch Ata Adonai Elohenu Melech Haolam. . . ", which translates into English as, "Praise to Thee, My Lord, our God, King of the Universe. " This Chassidic practice contains the three elements of sociodynamics, as depicted in the accompanying diagram:



to Thee

My Lord \/

our God \/

King of the Universe \/











The idea of praying thus involves three features of the phenomenon of consciousness: personal, community, and universal. By investigating how and when people pray, one obtains information about the ordinary process of future-making on the daily round. We are presenting samples of praying and resolutions contributed by students of Psychology 222, Fall 1977:

DRA Sample 1:
(a) Praying:

"I find myself praying to God each day whenever I have free time, and the thought occurs to me, I find that praying to God has helped me tremendously as a person to live through difficult times. once I did not pray to God. But now that I do, I have found a great difference in my well-being. Praying to God has helped me to have faith, hope, and love. "
(b) Resolutions:

"I find myself saying, 'I'm going to find a part-time job in the summer, and I'm going to take a PIR course during the summer, and I'm going to be active with the sorority. ' I'm making my plans for my summer in the beginning of spring because I like to think ahead. And I tell myself that I must lose more weight, and that I must take care of my health, and that I must keep in good spirits. "

DRA Sample 2:
(a) Praying:

"Before I eat I usually take a minute to pray to God and thank him for my food. I usually do this inside myself and don't let nobody know. I start with 'our father who art in heaven bless us and our food, etc. "

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