Log in

No account? Create an account

Previous Entry | Next Entry

Earlier I talked about how the psychological study of memory can give us clues about what qualities cause a story to be considered “good.” Today I’d like to examine the role behavioral psychology might play.

When people talk about behavioral psychology, the name that most often comes up is B.F. Skinner. Anyone who’s taken an introductory psychology course will have heard of him: he’s best known for his experiments with pigeons and rats in which he investigated how environmental stimuli affected their behavior. The principles he wrote about—particularly, that giving a reward (reinforcement) increases a behavior, while introducing a punishment decreases it—are widely used in many parts of our lives. Kids in school get stickers for good work and detention for bad behavior. An employee may get a raise for excellent performance and a reprimand for carelessness. Stop for a moment and think, and you can probably come up with a dozen ways you are reinforced (directly or subtly) for behaving “correctly,” and punished for a misstep.

But what does all that have to do with stories? I’d say rather a lot.

Read on!

As before, comments both there and here are welcomed. :)

  • Share/Bookmark

Originally published at Megan Crewe - another world, not quite ours. You can comment here or there.



( 1 comment — Leave a comment )
Oct. 31st, 2009 02:21 am (UTC)
Ah, so true! I've picked up a book based on the back cover blurb (or sometimes based on the cover picture only) and been disappointed that it wasn't what I had expected. In some cases I've continued to read but in others I put it down.
( 1 comment — Leave a comment )

My Books

Earth & Sky
(Earth & Sky #1, science fiction YA)
Skyscape/Razorbill Canada, 2014

The Clouded Sky
(Earth & Sky #2, science fiction YA)
Skyscape/Razorbill Canada, 2015

A Sky Unbroken
(Earth & Sky #3, science fiction YA)
Skyscape/Razorbill Canada, 2015

The Way We Fall
(Fallen World #1, apocalyptic YA)
Disney-Hyperion, 2012

The Lives We Lost
(Fallen World #2, apocalyptic YA)
Disney-Hyperion, 2013

The Worlds We Make
(Fallen World #3, apocalyptic YA)
Disney-Hyperion, 2014

Those Who Lived: Fallen World Stories
(Fallen World #3.5, apocalyptic YA)
self pubbed, 2014

Give Up the Ghost
(paranormal YA)
Henry Holt, 2009

Latest Month

May 2017

Page Summary

Powered by LiveJournal.com
Designed by Tiffany Chow