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13. Private events

Methodological behaviorists, like logical positivists, argued that science must confine itself to events that can be observed by two or more people; truth must be truth by agreement. There is a private world of feelings and states of mind, but it is out of reach of a second person and hence of science. That was not a very satisfactory position, of course. How people feel is often as important as what they do. (Skinner, 1989, p.3)

Radical Behaviourism
In Chapter 2 you were shown an animation of a person walking under a microscope and you were introduced to the behavioural stream.

The study of the behavioural stream, though, is not something that is relevant only for the study of ‘other people’.

In this chapter we discuss issues that arise when the person in question happens to be the scientist him/herself. With this in mind we have prepared two lengthy video clips detailing some complex issues addressed by radical behaviourism when dealing with this issue (Movies 13.1 & 13.2).

Our goal has been to design material that will hopefully offset the usual kinds of misrepresentation that have bedeviled behaviour analysis over the years (see also Movies 13.3, 3.9, & Nurturing).

Additional video resources