Knowledge is a tree, not a conclusion, and it has been a tree for all of time. Sometime, however, it verboten in the Bible with a didactic “tale” apparently by oligarchs telling the average religious person to view the tree of knowledge and its information as verboten. This is the beginning of the limits and control of information necessary for oligarchic dominance, as opposed to capital-type control which is more commodity-based --though information is now a commodity as “intellectual property.” (With “intellectual” being a strong word for the slurry capital pumps into the population.)

The most important extension of this type of information control currently exists as academia with its early revival of control as the dialectic and didactic by academy founders Socrates and Plato in ancient Athens, and recently by Hegel to fit current capital. Important is that these instructors specifically used sexual abuse to control, which survived to our time as, for instance, the Aboriginal residence schools openly, and covertly elsewhere.

Causality is a rational reduction of the complexity of life saying that “if something happens in relation to something else, that something else caused the first thing.” As a rational reduction, it is a “dumbing-down” of all the highly sophisticade life-system that affect us. Knowledge is naturally structured both in society and in our minds in tree structures, also called “complex data structures” Personally, I have never been “causal” (I believe) because I have been influenced by aboriginal knowledge organization, and also abstract art and music early on as a child with access to all of New York’s museums and libraries (access has since been restricted to children.)

If I something is unavoidably causal, I say “simple math” --this causes that, w/o making a bid deal about it.

Empiricism is the scientific method (and system) built from causality and is considered the only (measurement) science, even by scientist who should know better. It suffers from being highly-fractured, as it is built from independent causal conclusions that also tend to be ego-vehicles from empiricist scientists. Another widely-misused term is “objective” as a synomym for “cruel” such that normal human thinking, such as the recollection of experiences, is excluded from empiricist conclusions; only empiricist numbers are used, often as an output of highly-purposed statistical systems. Dependance on statistics is such that statistics now often produce hypothesis and theory, that is validated by the same statistical systems. Information from other sources such as experience and observation, no matter how detailed, cannot test well against conclusive information produced specifically to test well by statistical systems. This statistical reality is most true for current control of the mind (both human and animal) in cognitive-behavioral strategies of CBT. Interestingly, in CBT, the dialectic method as the socratic method is also key for (as they say) “thought control.”

Objectivism, such as Ayn Rand’s and (current-capital’s) Adam Smith’s objectivism simply “objectify’s” people to make then inanimate numbers rather than feeling people to allow for capital exploitation. As it happens, capital-supporting empiricism, as info-oligarchic, also leverages this, and fills its capital-supportive role by defining and maintaining it as its own from of exploitation, originally sexual abuse.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Bandura's social learning and Lewin's valence ideas

Bandura's learning theory goes beyond classical or operant theories by suggesting that behavior is influenced by observations of the surrounding environment that model behaviors.  The antecedent or discriminative stimulus component is learned socially rather than from personal experience (Friedman & Schustack, 2009).  Further, his most famous study shows how children, without the reinforcement component of operant conditioning, learn from a film how to "beat up" a large doll, and then immediately repeat the learning in real life (J. Dyce, personal communication, n.d.).  Self-regulation is also important to Bandura, as he says we are able to control behavior, giving us the concept of "free will," which is something neither pure behaviorists nor psychoanalytic schools provide (Friedman & Schustack, 2009).

Bandura's view of learning began as a social learning behavioral model, and is now described as social cognition, which shows his shift to a cognitive approach.  The observational learning component relies on cognition, or attention; memory, or retention; and abilities to work with what is learned, which is reproduction.  Further, there has to be motivation on the part of the learner to see that observed learning is reinforced into behavior, and also to share what has been learned in ways that may extend to the observed learning of others.  To initiate a behavior in the attention phase, the learned information must be attractive to the learner to motivate the learner to absorb, remember, and act on it.  This information is described in terms of distinctiveness, complexity, value, and affective, or emotional, valence.  Valence is a spatial concept that describes the emotional value of an event in social terms.  Motivation, which in the bigger picture is necessary for success, is related to a confident self-perception called self-efficacy that describes an individual's strength to overcome adversity and achieve goals.

His use of words such as vicarious and valence helps illustrate the social nature of his ideas.  Vicarious is used to describe the acquisition of the learning from the behavioral experiences of others.  The "emotional" attractiveness of observed objects is called valence (J. Dyce, personal communication, n.d.).  The term valence is used by Kurt Lewin, a social psychologist who described it in the contexts of "field theory" and "vectors" (Freeman, 1940) in ways that support Bandura's social modeling theory from an unusual, yet scientific, angle.  Freeman describes Lewin's field-theory as stating that "properties of behaviour" (1940, p. 1) are the product of "dynamic relationships between neural activities" (1940, p. 1).


Freeman, G. (1940). Concerning the 'field' in 'field' psychology. Psychological Review, 47(5), 416-424. doi:10.1037/h0063216.

Friedman, H.S. & Schustack, M.W.  (2009).  Personality: Classic theories and modern research (4th ed.).  Boston, MA: Allyn and Bacon.

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