EDPY633 readings for July 10

  • Roche, B. & Barnes-Holmes, D. (2003). Behavior analysis and social constructionism: Some points of contact and departure. The Behavior Analyst 26, 215-231.
Roche
So I started this one before class and after class what I had read became way more clear. I didn’t realize the extent to which social psych and DP ignore intentions. It does so far seem quite appropriate to compare behaviorism and DP/social constructionism. It’s good for me to see behaviorism beyond the caricature presented in intro text books. Also I think too many people in teaching focus on the kind of despicable history of Watson and Pavlov, or see behaviorism as only the logic of the machine. Writings like these show the nuance of skinner’s writing and thought.
I love the quite from skinner about the formula for falling bodies: it does not govern falling bodies, it governs those who use the formula. I’ve been thinking about behavioral interventions in the same way: you can teach a pigeon to play the piano, but it sure takes a lot of manipulation and work on your part!
Authors mention circularity a few times, and this article sure seems circular. I feel like I’m falling in to the Derrida trap, but how most people interpret behaviorism is quite different than the generous (or nuanced?) description offered here.
P226: behavior and its relation…
The comment by Day is cool and lends again to some of what we talked about in class. But to say its remarkable for its time is pretty editorial. Like people didn’t think critically about education into a field ever before.
Part of science is convincing ourselves that progress exists. And this article makes me think about that: We go through a lot of machinations and writing to convince ourselves that what we are doing is better than folk knowledge. So Day has this enhanced realization that there is such a thing as interpretation, and that needs to be accounted for. But there is no accounting for the accounting for! I guess that might be what draws people to DP-look at the function and action of language practices.
  •   Gilbert, G.N. & Mulkay, M. (1982). Warranting scientific belief. Social Studies of Science 12, 383-408.

385: Isn’t this how we all do it in convo?—they’re wrong cuz they aren’t looking at facts. I’m actually surprised so far that it’s so simple and relatable to everyday conversation. When someone believes something that is wrong, I feel like I come up with a whole host of reasons why they have come to such a conclusion. When I was younger, I would of course just say someone was stupid. As I grew older, I would say they didn’t pay attention to relevant evidence. These days I can pretty much accept that right and wrong are informed by perception, worldview, who you grew up around, etc. Even with my somewhat post-modern stance, I still catch myself, when people are “wrong,” saying things like, “They are distracted.” Meaning they are distracted from focusing on the evidence that would “correct” their “error.”

p. 390: The scientists are talking about how the evidence is stacking up in favor of one particular theory. I don’t know that the authors are arguing against this process, but many people conducting experiements in a similar way and getting similar results, to me, seems like a good way to create models/metaphors/stories that tell us, to the best of our knowledge, how the world works. I know that scientists work in labs with a desire to make things work, rather than some altruistic desire to find Truth. However, when dozens of specialist scientists are all working around a few theories and they eventually come to a consensus, I find it reasonable to accept that. I suppose the authors aren’t arguing against accepting scientific consensus, they’re just demonstrating how scientists talk about competing theories.

p. 392: So they accept data, but are skeptical of theory. This is similar to the idea in media of “giving the facts.” We don’t want the frilly theory stuff, just the evidence.

P393: Here I see a kind of parallel to the preffered and unpreferred response thing: when it’s right, you just say the evidence supports it. When it’s wrong, you talk about the evidence at length and hem and haw over it—and just as a person would be seen as rude for turning down an invitation with a simple “no,” a scientist would be seen as unscientific if she said “that’s just wrong.”

This was a good one!

  •   Lester, J. (2011). Exploring the borders of cognitive and discursive psychology: A methodological reconceptualization of cognition and discourse. Journal of Cognitive Education and Psychology 10(3), 280-293.
Lester 2011
I enjoy when articles provide historical overviews, even though I know an article of this length has to really streamline such sections. I enjoy being oriented.
P287. Seems like, at least in psych, Lester is saying that DP is inherently critical due to the theoretical orientation. I’m trying to get my brain around how reductive DP is…
Question: just passed a store called tire world. I know good and well there is not a world of tires. So is this a counter example of discourse creating worlds?
So in the end this one got a little dry for me, but I did like her section on application and future questions. I will look forward to reading more about her autism study. Overall, her writing was very clear and the explanations helpful for continuing to round out my understanding of DP.
  •   Edwards, D. (2006). Discourse, cognition and social practices: the rich surface of language and interaction. Discourse Studies 8(1), 41-49.

I like that he acknowledges the fact that language isn’t everything, but talk is what makes those non-talk things accountable. As we mentioned in class, we usually don’t stop to ask someone about what they intend, or even sometimes how they feel, unless there is some sort of hiccup.

Top of p. 43: So what does he think of poetry? The whole point of poetry, for me, is to combine surface with depth, literal with symbolic.

W/his punching the window example, I’m almost convinced of his point that it doesn’t matter whether or not the guy originally intended to punch the window out. That is unknowable to everyone. What is knowable is the interaction that the cop and accused have, and that power struggle and conversation is the only thing that brings out the intentionality—but it doesn’t bring it out as reality, only as an interaction.

One thought on “EDPY633 readings for July 10

  1. The jury is still out for me as to how aligned behavior analysts really are with social constructionism, but I liked their arguments and the quotations as well. Good food for thought & discussion.

    “385: Isn’t this how we all do it in convo?—they’re wrong cuz they aren’t looking at facts. I’m actually surprised so far that it’s so simple and relatable to everyday conversation. When someone believes something that is wrong, I feel like I come up with a whole host of reasons why they have come to such a conclusion.”

    (I think I am following your thoughts, but your use of abbreviations and just page numbers instead of actual quotes makes it difficult sometimes…formalizing your writing a bit might be helpful for me). Yes, this is exactly right – we are always justifying our beliefs and then, if others don’t agree, they come up with reasons why those justifications aren’t enough. That’s the role of rhetoric – and DP argues that rhetoric underlies ALL talk – mundane (everyday), institutional (scientific), etc. – rather than talk being primarily to convey what we think or believe in a neutral manner.

    “Question: just passed a store called tire world. I know good and well there is not a world of tires. So is this a counter example of discourse creating worlds?” Ha! Well, you could say that this sign was making the conversational move that this store has the most tires you will find around town (using the word “world” to evoke an all-encompassing selection). It’s still trying to create a version of the world, but you as the consumer of this message aren’t buying into it.

    “I like that he acknowledges the fact that language isn’t everything, but talk is what makes those non-talk things accountable.”

    Right, it may or may not be everything, but it’s all that we ever see. And even poetry is trying to “do” something…isn’t it?

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