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Topic subjectRE: murph..
Topic URLhttp://board.okayplayer.com/okp.php?az=show_topic&forum=22&topic_id=21933&mesg_id=22001
22001, RE: murph..
Posted by murph25, Thu Aug-24-00 02:16 PM
Let me try to answer these the best I can.

>where does 'choice' fit in behavioural
>ideas..like, what motivates us to
>do and why do we
>all do it in so
>many different ways ie. self?

I think "choice" is basically a delusion. A lot of times we don't understand the reasons we do what we do, but there is ALWAYS a reason. Most of it can be explained in terms of an intersection of nature and nurture. Nature in that our evolution and genetics help to determine what we do. We have certain biological drives - we need to eat, sleep, have sex, etc. We inherit behaviors from our parents - I tend to drink too much because alcoholism is in my genetic makeup. Nurture influences behavior by learning. If we are rewarded for doing something, we're likely to do it again. If we are punished, we are less likely to do it. Sometimes, our behavior comes out of both nurture and nature. We learn to speak because our brains are predisposed to learn a language. When we are exposed to a language in our environment at the appropriate stage of our development, we learn to speak it, whatever the language. I think these concepts CAN explain all of human behavior. I don't find it necessary to infer the existence of "choice" or "free will". But that's a whole nother argument.

>and I'm curious, how does 'imagination'
>fit in - or in
>this whole discussion even?

I think imagination can be conceived of in a number of ways, behaviorally. One concept that seems relevant is the ability to "do something new". Some behaviorists (myself included) have done research on the topic of "learned variability". This is a process whereby you reward an individual not for a particular response, but for varying (randomly) between a bunch of responses. This type of variability CAN be learned (by humans and other animals), and it may be a really important part of why we all behave as differently and unpredictably as we do. I think we do have the ability to "act creatively". But, as I said above, I might stop short of ascribing intention to it. I guess I just see it as part of "what we do" and no more a "choice" than any other behavior.