Conditioning Of Type S


CONDUCT, LAWS OF. In 1937, the versatile Swiss psychologist Edouard Cla-parede (1873-1940) formulated the following 13 "functional" laws of conduct in an attempt to give psychology the "back-bone" it purportedly needs as a scientific endeavor: law of need - a need tends to evoke reactions proper to its satisfaction; law of interest - all conduct is dictated by interest, the goal being to secure objects and positions that attract us; law of momentary interest - every living being acts in accordance with his dominant interest of the moment, where the most imperative need of the moment dominates all others; law of satiation and disgust - once a need is satisfied, the reactions it evoked will cease and the former need-arousing objects will now arouse contrary reactions of repulsion and disgust; law of the extension of mental life -mental life develops in proportion to the size of the gap between needs and their means of satisfaction; law of awareness -awareness of a process, relation, or object is delayed in proportion to the earliness and length of the period in which its automatic unconscious use has been implied in conduct; law of anticipation - any need, which by its very nature, is unlikely to be satisfied immediately appears early; law of reproduction of the similar - a need tends to reproduce reactions which have formerly proved desirable, and it tends to evoke, again, conduct which has already succeeded in similar circumstances; law of trial and error - a need will give rise to a series of exploratory reactions, of trial reactions, and of "gropings;" law of economy of effort - a need tends to seek satisfaction along the line of least resistance; law of substitution -when an end cannot be reached by one kind of behavior, another kind of behavior, likely to lead to the same end, is substituted in one of five different forms (simple, compensation, symbolic derivation, regression, or progression); law of subjective dominance - the self tends to subordinate the facts of reality to its own inclinations, aspirations, and needs; it tries to ignore reality and to deny it whenever it is in opposition to the desires of the self; and law of functional autonomy - one's capacity for reaction is adjusted to one's needs; functional autonomy consists of the functional unity and harmony of living beings. Claparede asserts that the principle of autonomy has revolutionized educational theory and practice; also, he suggests that education is no longer only a preparation for life, but it is a "life in itself' [cf., Ligon's (1939) eight "personality goals" (vision, love of righteousness and truth, faith in the friendliness of the universe, dominating purpose, being sensitive to the needs of others, forgiveness, magnanimity, and Christian courage) as another early approach toward instilling the "right/correct conduct" in individuals; and, also, the eightfold-path doctrine/theory of Buddhism which states that the "correct" way of living in order to achieve "nirvana" or "bliss" is to follow the eight percepts of conduct: right views, right concentration, right mindfulness, right effort, right intentions, right speech, right action, and right livelihood]. Generally, Claparede's early view of behavior initially was biological, and then later became functional and purposive, stressing the adap-tive response of the organism to the momentary situation (law of momentary interest). However, Claparede's choice of the term "laws" in his laws of conduct appears to be another instance of the early psychologists' loose, informal, and liberal use of the term law to describe general principles of behavior. Today, of course, usage of the term law in a scientific context, is restricted to more formal and empirically well-established descriptions of functional cause-and-effect relationships between, and among, variables (cf., Teigen, 2002). See also ALL-PORT'S FUNCTIONAL AUTONOMY PRINCIPLE; BUDDHISM AND ZEN BUDDHISM, DOCTRINE OF; LEAST EFFORT, PRINCIPLE OF; MORAL DEVELOPMENT, PRINCIPLES/THEORY OF; MOTIVATION, THEORIES OF; NIRVANA PRINCIPLE. REFERENCES

Claparede, E. (1937). Some major laws of conduct. American Journal of Psychology, 50, 68-78. Ligon, E. M. (1939). Their future is now.

New York: Macmillan. Rahula. (1974). What the Buddha taught.

New York: Grove Press. Teigen, K. H. (2002). One hundred years of laws in psychology. American Journal of Psychology, 115, 103118.

The psychology of religion. Annual Review of Psychology, 54, 377-402.


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