How does a behavioral psychologist think?

All my professional life I was a professor of developmental psychology. I retired in 1998, four years before Dr. Daniel Kahneman, another professor of psychology, got his Nobel Price in – Economics – in 2002. I will speak at the University of Valencia this month on his research on the behavior of the economic man: Is he as rational as society believes? Behavioral Economics was born the moment empirical evidence replaced rationality in the decision-making about money. Hey, young dude, join me on the edge of discovery? Today is only 10 years since the new profession began and people associated with the Symposium (and here in Canada) are already thinking of Behavioral Politics, Behavioral Medicine, etc. as the next step in the evolution of solutions and human success. I want to thank Hippocrates for asking the question 2500 years ago: Should Medicine be rational or empirical. I also want to thank Plato and Aristotle 2400 years ago for asking the question: Should language be rational-logical or natural-empirical?

 

The beauty of adding behavioral in front of any name of a discipline is that solutions become clear. For example, for years as a psychologist I struggled with the issue, “Does man kills or do guns kill?” On the day I became a behavioral thinker the answer became clear. Man kills, not guns. As a behavioral psychologist I know very clearly that the problem is not a billion gun in every home, its behavior. American society needs to look at how it raises its kids! What behaviors are rewarded and what behaviors are punished by parents, schools, etc.

I just came from the mall. I saw a mother screaming at her daughter, “Don’t shout at me,” she screamed. You know something, dude, Buddha once said that the word perfect means awareness, not  the absence of errors. Now I understand what he meant. Hey dude, have a better day!

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