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May 06, 2016


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Managed First Aid Services

This is nice post......Thank you for such a nice information...


Excellent post. I especially like the imagery of the room full of lever-pullers as mindless rats, which of course they are. If I allow my empathic sense to kick in just because these people look kinna like me and have similar neural circuitry to mine rather than seeing them as engaging in precisely the same sort of behavior as the rats, then I'm being but a rat too.

Romeo  Vitelli

Ultimately, it comes down to the behaviour and how it's reinforced. So long as lever pulling is considered to have a positive consequence, people will keep pulling.


This is a really good article. When I was being raised in the 70s the teachers liked to draw many lines between ourselves and animals, lines I didn't always but into. Our intellectual advantages don't save us from having to eat, excrete, breed, sleep - and deprived of these things our intellects our singularly and increasingly unable to control the animal that needs them. Your article shows how those needs are just as vulnerable to manipulation as those of any other animal. Our society, based on the idea that personal freedom = personal responsibility, makes small provision for those who will not take the precaution to control themselves, and thus give up the abity to do so.

Romeo  Vitelli

Thank you for your comment.


Actually, and at a risk of being called a behavior geek, slot machines operate according to Random Ratio (RR), not Variable Ratio (VR), schedules. That is, each response, or pull of the lever, is independent of the next (cf. what happens with the "near miss effect"). In VR schedules, responses average across reinforcers (a VR 5 reinforces responses within a range of, say, 2-10). In RR, the probability of reinforcement is reset each time, which leads to remarkably persistent behavior. See any work by Weatherly or Dixon or Hoon in Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis (http://seab.envmed.rochester.edu/jaba/index.html).

Romeo  Vitelli

Excellent point and, no, I don't think you're a behavior geek.

Thanks for commenting.

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