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Beyond Freedom and Dignity - A Review

  Beyond Freedom and Dignity Author: B.F. Skinner Reviewer   Geoffrey W. Sutton   B.F. Skinner's Beyond Freedom and Dignity (1971) challenges traditional ideas about human autonomy and self-determination. Skinner asserts that our behaviors are not driven by an inherent sense of freedom or dignity, but rather by environmental contingencies. I observed a somewhat humorous example of Skinner’s influence on psychology in the 1970s when I was in graduate school. A colleague in school psychology relied heavily upon reinforcement theory as he helped teachers with classroom management and identified himself as a behavioral engineer.   In Beyond Freedom and Dignity , Skinner argues for a more orderly structuring of society, especially through the implementation of psychological research. As a proponent of radical behaviorism, he posits that humans are controlled by their environment and their DNA. He suggests that if society wishes to improve its collective habits, it must

Walden Two - Review

  Walden Two by B.F. Skinner Reviewed by   Geoffrey W. Sutton Walden Two by B.F. Skinner   Walden Two is a utopian novel that presents an experimental community where life is drastically simplified and happiness is obtained through a scientific approach to behavioral engineering. The story begins with two young men, Rogers and Steve, who visit Professor Burris after returning from World War II. They inquire about a man named Frazier and the new society he is trying to build.   Frazier, a former classmate of Burris, has created a community named Walden Two based on principles of behaviorism. This community, home to about a thousand people, operates on the idea that human behavior can be controlled by manipulating contingencies of reinforcements and punishments. The inhabitants live in communal dwellings, eat in common dining spaces, raise their children in a communal nursery, and grow and build much of what they need. The standard workday lasts only four hours, and no one ear

The Bible: The Biography

  The Bible, The Biography A Review Karen Armstrong's book, The Bible: The Biography ( 2007),  is a historical account of how the Bible was formed, interpreted, and used by Jews and Christians over the centuries. Armstrong argues that the Bible is a living document that has been constantly reinterpreted and applied to different contexts and situations by its readers. She traces the development of the Bible from its oral origins to its written form, and from its canonical status to its diverse interpretations.   Armstrong begins by exploring the origins of the Hebrew Bible, which was composed by various authors who had different views of God, creation, and society. She shows how the Israelites did not have a rigid orthodoxy until after the Babylonian exile, when they began to canonize their scriptures and define their beliefs. She also explains how the Torah scholars considered themselves as prophets who could find new meanings in the ancient texts.   Armstrong then exami

Dr. Johnson's London - A Review

Dr. Johnson's London is a book by Liza Picard that explores the city of London during the 1700s. The book provides a detailed account of the city's history, culture, and daily life during this period. It covers topics such as the city's architecture, transportation, food, entertainment, and politics.  I recommend this book is an excellent resource for anyone interested in the history of London or the 18th century in general. In addition, Picard divides the chapters into "bite-sized" units making it easy to grad a read when you only have a few minutes between appointments or activities.     Picard, L. (2001). Dr. Johnson's London : Life in London 1740-1770. St. Martin's Press. Available on Amazon Geoffrey W. Sutton, PhD  is Emeritus Professor of Psychology. He retired from a clinical practice and was credentialed in clinical neuropsychology and psychopharmacology. His website is   See Geoffrey Sutton’s books on    AMAZON          or

The Evening and the Morning - A Review

  The Evening and the Morning     is a prequel to Ken Follett's The Pillars of the Earth and the fourth book in his Kingsbridge series. The novel is set in medieval Britain, beginning at the end of the Early Middle Ages, and spanning the years 997 CE to 1007 CE. The story revolves around three main characters: Edgar, Ragna, and Aldred.   Edgar is a young boat builder whose life changes forever when Vikings attack his village. During the raid, a Viking kills the woman he loves, Sungifu, and Edgar's father. Edgar kills the man and leaves the village with his family. The remainder of the novel explores themes of justice, mercy, and the complications of leadership, as Edgar becomes entangled in increasingly dangerous snares of political intrigue.   Ragna is a beautiful Norman princess who marries an Anglo-Saxon chieftain named Wilwulf. She loves him, but when she gets to England and starts to live with him in his town, she discovers that things are not quite as she expect

Assessing Spirituality & Religiosity

  Assessing Spirituality & Religiosity: A Handbook Beliefs, Practices, Values, & Experiences The Assessment of Spirituality and Religiosity is a handbook for clinicians and researchers who explore this importance dimension of self-identity. More than 7 billion people express their spirituality as members of one of the world’s great religions. In recent decades, the assessment of religiosity and spirituality has filled journals with informative studies. This handbook aims to provide clinicians and researchers with a way to organize hundreds of these instruments. Reviews There are very, very few psychologists I admire as much as my long-time friend, Geoff Sutton. I emphasize long-time because I’ve had the opportunity to know Geoff and learn from him for almost 50 years. He’s a person of deep faith, psychotherapist, teacher, and independent scholar par excellence.  Assessing Spirituality & Religiosity: A Handbook , Geoff’s latest work, is near the pinnacle of his scholarl

The Miracle of Dunkirk - A Review

  The Miracle of Dunkirk is a gripping tale of the well-known rescue of British and French troops from the French town of Dunkirk who were pushed to the beaches by the powerful advance of Hitler’s blitzkrieg in May 1940. Unable to retreat any farther, the Allied soldiers set up defense positions and prayed for deliverance. Prime Minister Winston Churchill ordered an evacuation on May 26, expecting to save no more than a handful of his men. But Britain did not let its soldiers down. Hundreds of fishing boats, pleasure yachts, and commercial vessels streamed into the Channel to back up the Royal Navy. Between May 26 and June 4, 1940, a stunned and joyful nation welcomed about 198,000 British and 140,000 French and Belgian troops. The film was impressive but this highly readable narrative by Walter Lord offers a glimpse into the minds of the ordinary young men and the odds they faced as they hoped to survive long enough to traverse dangerous waters. I recommend The Miracle of Dunki