THE SCIENCE OF BEHAVIOR AND THE IMAGE OF MAN by Isidore Chein

THE SCIENCE OF BEHAVIOR AND THE IMAGE OF MAN

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KIRKUS REVIEW

As the sweeping, rather awesome title suggests, psychologist Chein is presenting a major statement; and indeed this is his professional capstone to date (he has written numerous scholarly essays and some years ago co-authored a book on the juvenile drug problem). Quite simply Dr. Chein believes that man possesses the quality of individual freedom and here he spends considerable time searching psycho-philosophical byways and cul-de-sacs for metatheoretical proof, finally lighting on ""motive"" as the ""master integrative concept. . . . Once a motive is there, it is there, and, through it, the organism has become a partner in the causal process."" Having thus proved to his own satisfaction that this image of man is irrefutable (""If I seem to pontificate,"" he says in the preface, ""I apologize in advance""), Chein vigorously attacks those psychologists who view man as a ""passive, impotent, robotic"" bundle of mechanistic nerve ends (i.e., the behaviorists). However, Chein refuses to take on the major exponents of the determinist school, preferring rather to rant against an obscure article by one L. Immergluck published in the American Psychologist almost ten years ago; likewise, he tries to demolish the rat watchers with bursts of erudition: ""If the vaunted hypotheticodeductive method leads to a predicted relationship, the latter involves the term as conceived in the deductive process, not as subsequently operationally defined in the experiment designed to test the deduction."" Actually Chein is playing cat-and-rat with a straw man and consequently the book is a red herring.

Pub Date: Feb. 11th, 1971
ISBN: 1412808510
Publisher: Basic Books