- Capitalism and Alternatives -

A Couple More Forgotten Things

Posted by: Hank on February 09, 19100 at 14:08:14:

In Reply to: Forgotten Things posted by Hank on February 09, 19100 at 13:02:49:

I'd just like to mention that I realize "stimulus/response" is a crude generalization of Skinner and Behaviorism. Pardon me, but such crudities are bound to pop up in quick letters such as these.

Also, to follow up on a point I touched on earlier, the insights of Behaviorism are very useful when it comes to "real world" applications, particularly in sales. Has anyone here read the book "Amway: The Cult of Free Enterprise" (South End Press)? It was written by an ex-Amway distributor, and I read it because I broke up with a girl precisely because she became an Amwayian.

(For a good night of laughter, find and watch Amway's introductory videos "Welcome to Our World" and "Compassionate Capitalism." You'll be rolling on the floor, I guarantee.)

At any rate, the book "Amway: The Cult of Free Enterprise" has a whole chapter on how Rick DeVos, one of Amway's two founders (and a born-again Christian Reaganite) spends much time railing against what a horrible aetheist Skinner was, but then the author shows how Amway employs many tactics which were discovered by Behaviorist research. I'm sure that Skinner would have been furious to know that his insights are put to such use, but this is the moral dilemma of science. (And anyway, good salesmen knew how to use such tactics instinctively.)

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