Cognitivism vs. Behaviorism

“Never believe what a woman says, believe what she does.”

This phrase is almost a proverb in the manosphere. I wish I could say I coined it, but I think I remember it being used as early as 2003. Back then I was studying behavioral psychology and I remember it being significant then because it’s essentially the primary foundation of behaviorism: behavior is the only measurable, reliable evidence of psychological motivation. Most people, particularly those of a more conservative mindset, have a tendency to lump all psychology into the touchy-feely psychotherapist stereotype. What they don’t really grasp is that there are many more schools of thought in psychology than just the $75/hour couch-sitting cognitive therapists relying primarily on self-reported feelings.

I understand the dislike, but behavioral psychology is much more focused on what is empirically observable and drawing correlations about motivation from the manifested behavior of animals and people. For the behaviorist, the Medium is the Message. Cognitive psychologists are uncomfortable with the implications of a purely behavioral perspective, not just because it threatens their livelihoods, but it offends their sensibilities about humanism and placing root level, ‘hard-wired’ biological motivators above a blank-slate freewill ideology. It’s just this behavioral bent that rubs Cogs the wrong way about evo-psych as well; the behavioral foundations of evo-psych are uncomfortably close to biological determinism for their liking.

In the area of personality studies, nowhere is this dichotomy more apparent, and when you add in the complexities of gender differences and social psychology it becomes directly confrontational. Whether you’re aware of it or not, everyone you know subscribes to some combination of these two psychological camps – rational behaviorism and humanistic cognitivism. When it comes to the complexities of personality and social psych, it’s a bit too simplistic to characterize these ideologies in terms of nature vs. nurture. Only rarely do the two absolutes really exist in people’s personal psychologies, but in social psychology, the predominance of one psychological ideal will substantially set a precedent for the culture it’s recognized in.

Humanistic Cognitivism

As we might expect, women tend to opt for a more cognitive, emotive psychological perspective. As the sex with an innate predilection for communication (both verbal and nonverbal) it’s not surprising that a psychology founded on self-reporting and getting in touch with emotions would be appealing. An easy illustration of this psychology is found in women’s preference for associating anecdotal experiences with evidence of fact. Female solipsism aside, cognitivism complements women’s need for personal validation.

Cognitivism also fits well into women’s pluralistic sexual strategies in that it offers them much broader opportunities for sexual selection (i.e. hypergamy). A fem-centric society rooted in the importance of emotions and placing ephemeral personal choice as its highest motivator makes for an ideal environment in which to practice hypergamy. The unknowability of the feminine mystique, a woman’s prerogative to change her mind and the default status of victimhood, all find their beginnings in a “it’s-just-how-I-feel” cognitive psychology.

All of this isn’t to say that women are incapable of understanding a rational perspective, it’s just that this isn’t their perspective of origin. When forced to make a rational decision women can and do make choices based on empirical evidence, but it’s always tempered with the feeling that the decision is associated with. There is a necessary repression of this emotive base needed to come to a point of rationality.

Rational Behaviorism

Conversely, men tend to opt for a more rational, behavioral approach to their psychological motivations. I’m not covering any new ground in this respect, but it’s important to note that what men believe is their own predisposition for rational thinking is also a psychological perspective.

Uninfluenced by social forces, men will tend towards deductive reasoning in their psychology, but that’s not to say this isn’t tempered by an underlying emotionalism. As I’ve stated in many prior threads, it’s men who are the true romantics. We want to believe the fantasy in spite of our deductive natures telling us the opposite – and this is generally where the trouble begins for men.

Worlds Collide

Just as society is influenced by political, religious and economic beliefs, so too does our predominant social psychology color our world view. For the past 50 + years this has been a consistent push towards a feminine defined cognitive humanism. If you have any difficulty believing that men are the default rational behavioral sex, it’s because this psychology conflicts with what feminine cognitivism has been attempting to instill in society as a whole for going on five decades now; that a fem-centric cognitive social perspective should be the standard for society. The clarion call of cognitive humanistic psych has always been “get in touch with your feelings” , which by definition is easier for women than it should be for men. Women start at a point of normalcy where they presume to be more in touch, and men have the changing to do. Men’s default rational behavioral origin makes them flawed from the outset when cognitivism is the dominante social psychology.

Ignorance and Bliss

 One of the primary reasons men, and particularly the newly Game-aware red pill Men, see women’s actions as duplicitous and/or immoral is because they believe that women are on some level aware of their own hypocrisy. It frustrates men’s rational behavioristic psychology that in spite of being shown irrefutable evidence of women’s contrary behaviors they will still insist that they “just don’t know what comes over them.” It’s a uniquely female cognitive dissonance that women have the ability to separate their instinctive behaviors from their latent motivators. That’s the $10 way of saying most women are blissfully unaware of, or unacknowledging of, the source of their behaviors.

Consequently a psychological coping mechanism was needed to resolve women’s incongruent behaviors with their uncomfortable motivators. Enter the mental Hamster of women’s rationalization engine. Because of the psychological priority cognitivism has in women, rationalizing needs to be on autopilot. So when women relate that they don’t know why they preach one thing, but do the opposite, I’m inclined to believe them. Hypergamy is a raw, animalistic, unethical element of the feminine psyche, so it comes as no surprise that women’s psychologies would push this discomfort into an unconscious mental subroutine for them.

“I don’t know why I felt compelled to fuck the hot guy in the foam cannon party in Cancun, it’s just not like me.”

“I’m appalled by rape and BDSM, but I can’t help but get off on reading 50 Shades of Grey.”

Men hear statements like these and our rational behavioral psychology screams “BULLSHIT! Everything has a reason, you throw an object into the air and gravity brings it back down!” However, women (for the most part) literally don’t know why they don’t know their instincts make them hypocrites. They retreat to the rationalization Hamster, but even this isn’t sufficient in the face of very stark realities. So an entire social psychology, one favoring women’s humanistic cognitivism, was needed to maintain that cognitive dissonance. Thus women caught in the act of infidelity (acting contrary to professed behavior) are still protect and insulated from their own ignorance of motivation.

Published by Rollo Tomassi

Author of The Rational Male and The Rational Male, Preventive Medicine

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You are using the terms wrong. Behaviorism is a discredited school of psychology based on the blank slate view of the brain. It is nonsense because it denies that humans have any innate mental traits whatsoever and are molded by the environment. This school forms much of the basis of leftist PC social science, feminism and marxism. Cognitive science on the other hand acknowledges and studies the innate hormones, genetics, and instincts that drive’s human behavior, emotions, thoughts and personality. It forms much of the backbone of evolutionary psychology. By the way, humans (male and female) are not rational at… Read more »

Omega Man
Omega Man

@diamondeyes: “Screwing a married woman once on vacation? Not admirable, but there’s a lot worse you could do. Maintaining an ongoing relationship screwing some other man’s fiance? Scummy as fuck.”

it’s not a man’s obligation to respect the marriage; it’s hers. if he’s not raping her, guess what… she WANTED TO GET FUCKED.

so, if you’re judging the man and forgiving the poor, little innocent woman for being who she is, you’re doing it wrong.

she wants to get fucked. either you’re gonna do it or someone else will, but her need to fuck will be met.

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