The Skinner Rat – The Psychology of learning.
A rat is put in a box and it can only eat if it performs a particular behavior. S o if it pushes a lever – it is only as a result of pushing that lever – that it is allowed to eat. The experimenter determines when this rat is going to eat, when it is going to drink; he determines the living conditions under which this rat must survive. The rat becomes conditioned and changes as a result of the fact that the man has control of vital things in its life. This rat is conditioned ; i.e., it reflects the conditions under which it is forced to survive as the result of a set of power relations…Based on these terms we may reach the conclusion that the conditioned rat is socially created; its personality is a social creation. What it learns is the result of a power differential between the rat and experimenter, because the experimenter has power over the rat and uses that power to transform and create something new in the rat.
I often ask my students: who has control of your food? who has control of your electricity? Who has control of your water? Who tells you what to wear when you go to work? Who tells you when to come to work…when to leave…when to got to lunch…how to speak…how to write…how to do this…how to do that…and how are these things taught, and how are they conditioned? – It is by reward and punishment.
We see the same basic situation and the same basic principles for conditioning rats are now transferred to life and reality itself. Therefore, to live in the “ghetto” under the power of another people is to be created by that people. To be rewarded and punished by that people is to be created by that people.
Amos N. Wilson
The Falsification Of Afrikan Consciousness