What is Biobehavioral Science? The amalgamation of Biological Science and Behavioral Science.
In China today, the government is using Biobehavioral Science via “social credits” (a form of “token economy”*) to reward desired, social behaviors and to punish undesired behaviors; thereby, fulfilling goals in many ways antithetical to traditional American ideals and values.
*Mann, RA and Moss, GR: The therapeutic use of a token economy to manage a young and assaultive inpatient population. Journal of Nervous & Mental Disease 157: 1-9, 1973. Was it read by the Chinese? Who knows?
Here in these United States of America, entrepreneurs are using Biobehavioral Science via social media and video games to manipulate your behavior in unhealthful ways. We Americans, however, can employ Biobehavioral Science to fulfill healthful goals consonant with traditional American ideals and values characterized by moderation, prudence, and charity to protect individual liberty and to promote a capitalistic, democratic republic. Ah, but what is liberty — real liberty?
Excerpt from the novel, Retribution Fever:
Some might say, “Real liberty is the power to do as one pleases within limits set by a societal context of moderation, prudence, and charity with justice and mercy for all.”
Why moderation and prudence? Consider the alternatives — excess and folly.
“Let your moderation be known unto all men.” -Philippians 4
“I wisdom dwell with prudence,
And I find knowledge and discretion.” -Proverbs 8:12
Why charity? Consider the alternative — indifference.
“He that hath a bountiful eye shall be blessed;
For he giveth of his bread to the poor.” -Proverbs 22:9
Only moderation and prudence combined with charity can maintain real liberty by binding a nation together in a manner allowing the pursuit of individual happiness within appropriate and reasonable limits. Only by limiting human proclivities towards unbridled selfishness and depraved hedonism and by expanding human capacity for self-knowledge and self-reflection can a society achieve an optimal balance between individual interest and collective obligation.
Behavioral Science offers this nation the power and means to modify the four, secular cornerstones of society — government, law, education, and medical delivery — in order to fulfill the goal of promoting and strengthening real liberty for every citizen.
Power: Case Example
Scene: A UCLA-operated, psychiatric unit at a nearby VA hospital. Patients: young men often assaultive. Treatment: Biobehavioral employing a token economy.
The newly admitted patient was handsome and muscular, standing 6′ 3″ tall. Clearly, he was severely psychotic exhibiting almost every sign in the textbooks. His speech, for example, was unintelligible with “clang associations” and “word-salad”.
When asked his name, Bill replied, “Bam Bam!” as he smashed his right fist into his left palm. Bill was scary; yet, he never actually was to assault anybody on the unit even when taking no anti-psychotic medication.
Early on during his stay, he was interviewed at a staff-meeting. His speech reflected the severity of his psychosis. He was receiving no medication of any sort.
Interviewer: Bill. You’re talking crazy. You’ll have to go into the Time-Out Room.**
**The Time-Out Room was a converted large closet with padded walls and a small window on the door that gave a view of the entire space inside. Staff placed patients into “Time-Out” for a few minutes as a consequence for disruptive behavior.
Interviewer: Bill. You’re still talking crazy. You’ll have to go into the Time-Out Room again.
The Interviewer repeated the procedure a number of times. At the end of an hour, Bill was speaking rationally in a normal cadence and tone.
Whereas a single trial of the procedure did not cure Bill of his psychosis, it did demonstrate that he remained capable of returning to normal. Also, it demonstrated the power of Biobehavioral Science put to proper use.
The semi-fictional novel, Retribution Fever (2018), presents a detailed blueprint for applying Biobehavioral Science in a manner consonant with traditional American ideals and values individually and societally. That blueprint reflects a fundamental, easily understandable model of human behavior as presented in a previous, semi-fictional novel, Inescapable Consequences (2009). Alternative?