Philosophy, statistics, and behaviorism’s appeal to ignorance

I sometimes wonder why behaviorism still hasn’t moved on to using statistics. On paper, it would have many benefits: We could look scientific to other scientists. We could also communicate with other psychologists to have more impact. We could show behavior analysis to not just be efficacious, but scalable. We could show key findings toContinue reading “Philosophy, statistics, and behaviorism’s appeal to ignorance”

Can we use technical notation to help to achieve conceptual precision?

I was really happy to finally publish a paper first conceptualised in 2013, which I have worked on intermittently since. In some scientific fields, abstract ideas such as theorems, grammatical rules, and so on, are expressed using technical notation. In my own field of psychology, Relational Frame Theory (RFT) is a particularly useful approach toContinue reading “Can we use technical notation to help to achieve conceptual precision?”

We inherit anxious behavior. So what?

People who are high in trait Neuroticism are stirred up emotionally more easily and may be more likely to withdraw from challenge/threat situations. With early twin studies, we learned beyond reasonable doubt that this susceptibility to negative emotion is highly heritable (Viken, Rose, Kaprio, & Koskenvuo, 1994), with modern genetics research corroborating early findings inContinue reading “We inherit anxious behavior. So what?”

Can psychologists raise intelligence?

Here’s a blog post I wrote for the Association for Behavior Analysis International, the world’s leading organisation for behavioral psychology, with 35,000 members across all its sub-chapters. In this blog, I put my PhD work in context in an attempt to bridge the divide between behavioral psychology and cognitive neuroscience. “Nonetheless, those smaller studies yieldedContinue reading “Can psychologists raise intelligence?”