ERIC Number: EJ947335
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Reference Count: 7
Getting It Wrong: Comment on Moore's "Behaviorism and the Stages of Scientific Activity"
Baum, William M.
Behavior Analyst, v33 n2 p235-236 Fall 2010
In this article, the author comments on Moore's (2010) illogical attack on the matching law which was published by "The Behavior Analyst." Moore begins by attacking the psychophysical power law because he claims it is based on mentalism. One may argue about theory, but one cannot argue with data. Moore's attack on the generalized matching law is similarly problematic. The illogic of his argument should be obvious. He begins with the premise: (1) The psychophysical power law was based on mentalism. Therefore: (2) Some power laws are based on mentalism. He then proceeds (illogically): (3) The generalized matching law is a power law. Therefore: (4) The generalized matching law is based on mentalism. The author contends that if Premise (2) stated "all" instead of "some," Conclusion (4) would be warranted, but the "some" makes the conclusion invalid. Equally obvious, the generalized matching law is in no way based on mentalism. To dismiss a well-replicated finding because someone may have proposed a theory about it that is erroneous or untestable makes no sense.
Descriptors: Behaviorism, Science Activities, Science Programs, Behavioral Science Research, Theories, Feedback (Response)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
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