Non Sense

Ecclesiastes :: The Segregated Fields ::: Nonsense Syllables ::
Bugelski, An Introduction To Psychology (1973) ::
and Nonsense syllables :

    About 1880, in Germany, Herman Von
Ebbinghaus (1913) undertook to study memory processes as practical
educational problem. At the time children in schools learned their
lessons by drill, and memorizing was the basic classroom exercise.
Ebbinghaus wanted to improve methods of drill. At once he realized
that such factors of frequency ( how much drill ) and recency (how
long since something was used ) were significant variables. Ebbinghaus
invented a kind of new learning material ( the nonsense syllable
) by which to study learning. He appreciated that all comparisons
of methods would require material of equal difficulty and thought
he could arrange a more or less infinite amount of such material
by putting two consonants and a vowel together in a three-letter
word like dax, mef, xar,etc., where the letters did not form any
actual words. Ebbinghaus felt quite comfortable with his inventions
but later on American psychologists discovered that most college-students
subjects would try to put some kind of sense into the nonsense and
make words out of the syllables. Thus, dax might be changed to tax,
mef, could become miff, xar could be jar or whatever might ocurr
to anyone. Ebbinghaus would select a dozen or so syllables at random,
each on a seperate slip of paper, and arrange them in a sequence
or list. He would read over the list again and again until he could
recite it. This came to be known as the method of serial lists because
the syllables were learned in serial order. Ebbinghaus learned a
great deal about the learning of serial lists but for American psychologists
in this century there did not seem to be much call for learning
material in serial order. Outside of the number system and the alaphabet,
there is little need for learning items in serial order.[Brainwash-verbal
conditioning-motor circle of mechanized sequences that have been
paired to physical stimuli-hypnopaedia-hypnotism & conditioning
at a distance-mental holography-hallucination conditioning through
artificial dreams-vivid dreams-predispositions to act certain manner(s)-behavior
modification9S)] One might think of lists of presidents or states
of the union, days of the week, months of the year, but beyond these,
there does not seem to be much call for learning lists. Usually
we learn one thing at a time even if it is ocassionally incorporated
into some serial order. This observation led Americal psychologists
to prefer the paired-associates procedure for learning nonsense
material. With this method , two nonsense syllables, e.,g., deg-
and zam, might be presented at one time and the learner would be
required to recite the second whenever he saw [heard] the first.
[ trained learned behavior-repetitions-brainwashing-hypnopaedia-hypnosis-conditioning-vectors--neural
pathways-cell assemblies ] """Because the verbal response followed
the visual stimulus,""" psychologists tended to identify the two
syllables as a stimulus and a response or S-R pair. In an interesting
experiment Sheffield (1948) watched the time it took rats to get
started running (a natural response ) to a shock. As soon as they
had started to run, the shock stopped. The rats learned to run almost
at once; they learned so rapidly that Sheffield argued, as does
Guthrie, that learning does and can take place in one trial.
 ""If we wanted to, we might plot the frequency and reaction time
of each response to a given persistent stimulus and arrange the
various responses in some order of probability of occurrence. We
would then have a
"hierarchy" of responses to the same persistent
stimulus."" [ operant conditioning chains through verbal stimulies,
Pavlov's 3rd signal system for conditioning,1927; gestalt subliminal
art is based on the same system utilizing visual stimulies ] One
of the members of the hierarchy we can roughly describe as climbing
the chain. This is the one that we selected for the animal to learn.
We noted that the animal could already do this; all that we accomplished
in our educational program was to change the time at which this
would happen. 'We wanted it to happen first, not later in the sequence.
We wanted it to happen, furthermore, when a light came on and without
a shock being applied.[see Rossler & Brogden,1943, Ideo-Motor
Action, verbal stimulies paired to physical reaction ] This we managed,
as educators, to accomplish. But note, that we merely managed the
affair, we did not teach. No educator teaches. He manages. ""What
does management consist of? Only this : arranging for the systematic
appearance of unnatural and natural stimuli which bring out the
desired response."" [ Operant Conditioning-intermittent verbal expressions
rotations and repetitions to behavior(s) and action(s) or attitude(s)-self(s)-object(s)
] The teacher may have to make noises in order that the learner
is managed into making certain noises too, but making the noises
is not teaching, it is still making noises and if the learner does
not make them, no learning will take place.

[ _ _ _"J u said
it"_ _ _ "say it"keep repeat n it-this"i's yur self-fa"i's yur on
es t"it's"that's the on ly thing sav n u-ya"kil n"u did it"u will"yur
good"kil n"yur b n made a fool of"it's us"we'r laf n"it's kil n
us ta tell ya"yur mak n us laf"we want u to go"kil n"laf n"yur dum"u
did it"J yur good" each non-sense syllable is a link J->u J->yur
and at the opposite end the last is the first by paired associate
chain operants it->u also 'its' to vowel and consonant "i's",
thats to at's to a's;"J your such phoney" u aint go n to do nuth
n" yur a punk"we want ya ta go"yur dum" conflict constructs of approach-avoidance
and pairings to pho knee-knee pain, "it's yur t-tee tha"a's wat
yur a fraid of"yur get n yur ass(a's)whip-da-kil da"yur dum"u did
it"i's a pain in tha ass(a's) ]
   Only teachers can be stupid,
it might be assumed from the remarks of Guthrie or the conclusions
of Skinner (1968). [ linguistic(s) - verbal expression(s) -2ndary
reinforcer(s) -word(s)-nonsense syllables-CVCs(consonant-vowel-consonant)
- paired associate(s) - series arrangement(s) - attitude(s) -self(s)
- object(s) { theme(s) - symbolism(s) } - sensation(s) as chain
paired associates - neural pathways - cell assemblies, schedules
of reinforcement, intermittent(s)-repetition(s)-rotation(s)-drive(s)

    Bugelski, on Pavlov (1927) page 200-202, , constant
stimuli - we have made the point that a stimulus, any stimulus,
is more or less readily or rapidly followed by some natural response
to that stimulus. If the response is adequate, i.e., gets rid of
that stimulus, the organism is ready to react to the next invasion
of its nervous system from the outside world. If the response is
not adequate, if the stimulus remains, if the social world is frowning,
some other response must be made or the stimulus will remain. What
other response? We have argued, in discussing the nervous system,
that any input will normally find an output, and this output will
either be along previously prepared or inherited pathways or through
other available channels. We can expect that if a stimulus continues
to iniciate neural activities, then the organism will respond in
a succession of ways until the stimulus does cease to exist. Suppose
we illustrate this by rather strong example. Let us place a rat
in a box with a grid floor through which we can shock its feet.
Let us further decide to educate this rat to make an unnatural,
but civilized response. We will turn on a light and after a few
seconds we will turn on a shock and we will leave them both on until
the rat pulls the chain in the middle of the box. The chain is hooked
to a switch which turns off the light and the shock. Our rat is
ready. The light goes on, the rat does whatever rats do when lights
come on, perhaps it turns away or ducks its head. The shock comes
on, the rat pulls up its paws briskly, it hops, it bounces, it whimpers,
it squeals, it starts to bite the bars and jumps back more briskly,
it runs about, it climbs the walls but finds no footholds, it goes
through this repertoire over and over again, varying the sequence
from time to time, but certainly not repeating any particular response
to the exclusion of other behavior. We might somewhat cavalierly
say that "varied its behavior patterns," but we must note that there
are many things the rat does not do kneel; it does not stand on
its head or invoke the Fourteenth Amendment. The behavior though
variable, is limited to its variability. If we wait long enough
and if the rat is lucky it will sooner or later ( and we always
hope it will not be to soon ) bump into the chain and start to climb
it. Its weight will pull the switch, the light goes out, the shock
too, not that the rat "knows" this, and the rat hangs on,. After
a while it drops off the chain and there being no stimulation to
the feet for agitated behavior, it goes about its ratlike life again.
If we now turn on the light again, and the shock, we will have,
usually a repetition, although probably a briefer one, of the above
pattern of limited variability. The pattern will be repeated time
and time again, but each time more briefly with more and more elements
of the repertoire dropping out, until finally, the light comes on
and before the shock arrives the rat is up the chain.