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Behavioral finance explain multiple murders.

May 21, 2013

The schedule is called continuous reinforcement schedule, Dr. Skinner discovery at Harvard University 60 years ago, research at its best that psychology had forgotten about: Aggression is the result of rewarding a behavior continually and then punishing it. The original result in the lab with a rat in 1945 showed that a suddenly deprived rat reacted by biting the bar and trying to bite the psychologist who stopped rewarding the rat’s pressing the bar with a pallet of food. I am not excusing the behavior of the soldier this week who were denied a bank loan to pay his mortgage (after have been given loans before) and shut the manager. It is sad that 4 bank employees were murdered by a soldier who was once cited as a hero. I am only explaining that when you have emotional issues you may react with aggression when someone said “yes” to you continually and then said “no” to the same request. Think about your marriage. Listen, you should not build expectation for something in someone and then deny him/her  the request. It’s dangerous.  I took that class as a sophomore at UCLA in 1966. I never realized that I would one day become a behavioral psychologist that would explain a murder that way, but that’s what happened –  murderous behavior of a bank customer who was denied credit for the first time. I will try to use all Skinner’s schedule of reinforcements to explain economic behavior from now on – more elegant. This is what the applied science of behaviorism at its best is all about. Do you how many lives we can save that way?

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