“Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.”
I have heard that quote in my clinical practice so many times in the past year that I decided I have to write about it. Somehow this definition has become part of the collective understanding of abnormal psychology and has been terribly misapplied. I don’t know much more about the context of the quote but I am guessing that it was a bit of a humorous comment on science.
First, to critique the quote. If we are going to take this definition seriously to start, then everyone, yes everyone, is insane. Behavioral research in the early part of the twentieth century taught the world about how human beings learn: through long processes of conditioning based on pairings and reinforcement.
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