The ‘Roots’ of Behaviour
It’s always fascinating watching the risk industry battle with behaviourism, because it doesn’t work (https://safetyrisk.net/the-curse-of-behaviourism/ ). It doesn’t matter that behaviourism doesn’t work, Safety believes it does. So, the constant quest is to go deeper, even though it doesn’t know how to go deeper into more behaviourism. Hence we see projected courses like this one from the NSCA . Now we have to go to the ‘roots’ of behaviour apparently contained in ‘three inducing factors’. Never mind that these ‘factors’ are defined poorly, especially culture, just don’t say anything and keep silent about human judgment and decision making. Don’t talk about the elephant in the room.
One of the things you won’t find in either safety curriculum, risk curriculum, SRMBoK or AIHS BoK is discussion about the elephant, human judgment and decision making. This was the subject of my first book in the series on risk: Risk Makes Sense, Human Judgement and Decision Making (for free download here: https://www.humandymensions.com/product/risk-makes-sense/).
All Safety wants to do is talk about ‘behavioural psychology’ to the exclusion of a Transdisciplinary approach (https://safetyrisk.net/transdisciplinary-safety/ ). When the only string in your fiddle is behaviourism, you’ll never kick the habit of blaming (https://safetyrisk.net/kicking-the-behaviourism-habit/). This is where the quest for roots to behaviourism will take you. Then it doesn’t matter what language you throw about, the discourse of behaviorism remains, even when you call it ‘neuroscience’ (https://safetyrisk.net/turning-neuroscience-into-behaviourism/ ).
So when you look at this proposed course, the discourse of behaviourism remains. The only reason to drive for the ‘roots’ of behaviours is because the assumptions of behaviourism, don’t work. It’s a bit like driving for 1% less harm rather than sprouting the mantra of zero harm, the language changes but the discourse remains.
At no time are the assumptions of behaviourism questioned in the safety world of invisible elephants. It all then becomes about: ‘unsafe behaviours’ and ‘tackling inducing factors’. Guess what, it’s still behaviourism. It’s never about: subjects, helping, personhood, decision making, judgment or care, its all about behaviours-as-objects. Once behavior is made an object, it can be measured and controlled. And there goes that elephant (https://www.triarchypress.net/in-search-of-the-missing-elephant.html) flying out the window along with a saddle full of learning, intelligence and critical thinking.
The trouble is that behaviourism can never provide: ‘insight’, vision or ethical outcomes. When one makes fallible persons into a behavioural product all ethical methodology goes out the window, also carries out by that elephant. Of course, Safety doesn’t see the elephant, because it doesn’t know it exists. Hence, the delusion that behaviourism can hold its position as denoted savior for zero harm.
In safety, even culture is defined as a set of objects so that it can be measured and controlled. The discourse (Power in language) remains the same.
Of course, the reasons why people do what they do, is not confined to three ‘inducing factors’. Risk and safety is a wicked problem and any simplistic discourse about 3 inducting factors is not just misleading but helps to serve the delusions of behaviourism and blindness to elephants.
So lets give a cheer for behaviourism and celebrate the fact that Safety is expert at rehashing stuff that doesn’t work and then calls it ‘vision’.