Publications of Place that refer to Lecture (25). Lecture 25: Theories of emotion and the nature of emotional reactions (15/5/1974).
Place, U. T., & Wheeler Vega, J. A. (1999). An anticipation of reversal theory within a conceptual-analytic and behaviorist perspective [Conference presentation, presented by the second author at the 9th International Conference on Reversal Theory, June 28 - July 2]. University of Windsor, Ontario, Canada.
Michael Apter denies that behaviorism can provide an adequate account of human action, referring to it in one place as "a kind of methodological vandalism" (Apter, 1989, p. 2). It is the purpose of this paper to show how the first author came, as a behaviorist and analytic philosopher, to a position that anticipates reversal theory to a surprising extent. The basis of this position is an analysis of polar statements concerning 'wanting': 'X wants O', and 'X does not want O'. These sentences imply a number of corollaries. For example, if 'X wants O', then: 'X will be pleased if O appears', 'X will be worried if it looks as if O will not appear', and 'X will be angry or miserable if O fails to appear'. Contrasting entailments follow ‘X does not want O'. These implications display the relationship between the motivational concepts of 'wanting' and 'not wanting', and emotion concepts such as being pleased, worried, angry, miserable, &c. This set of reciprocally related entailments provide, it will be argued, the conceptual foundation of reversal theory. This analysis led the first author to develop a behavioral theory of emotion, in which the various emotions can be located on two dimensions (after Myers, 1923): 'pleasant/unpleasant', and 'high-arousal/low-arousal'. Emotions are distinguished by reference to a third variable: a characteristic 'impulse' appropriate to the type of contingency in which the emotion in question is evoked. The notions of 'wanting' and 'not wanting' are defined, in the language of operant psychology, as differences in the reinforcing effect of actual and potential stimuli with respect to actual and potential operant responses by the organism. Some illustrative clinical and experimental applications of the theory by the first author, in the 1960's, are outlined.
Download: Place & Wheeler Vega (1999) An Anticipation of Reversal Theory within a Conceptual Analytic and Behaviorist Perspective.pdf