Universal Journal of Psychology Vol. 5(2), pp. 88 - 94
DOI: 10.13189/ujp.2017.050205
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An Axiomatic Approach to Human Behavior

Sheldon Grant Levy *
Wayne State University, USA


Since Euclid's development, the axiomatic method ha44s appealed to a limited number of non-mathematicians.. These include Newton's laws of motion, Spinoza's Ethics, and the political philosophy represented in the United States Declaration of Independence. In psychology, the notable efforts have been those of Hull and more recently of Smedslund. However, none of these examples have stated the premises in symbolic logic notation. An illustrative set of postulates for human behavior is present in which only the relationships---"not", "and", "or" and "implies"--- are employed. These propositions include basic concepts such as anxiety, aggression, and identification and fundamental empirical results, for example, the basic law of effect of Thorndike. The model then capitalizes on Muncaster's PropCalc which provides a computer analysis of a set of propositions expressed in symbolic notation for their consistency and redundancy. The procedure also provides a basic set of deductions implied by the propositions. Examples of conclusions derived from the model are presented and limitations of the prototypical model are discussed. The focus of the paper is to illustrating the utility of the axiomatic approach for theory development in psychology.

Psychological Theory, Axiomatic Method, the Propcalc, Symbolic Representation, Theoretical Constructs

Cite This Paper in IEEE or APA Citation Styles
(a). IEEE Format:
[1] Sheldon Grant Levy , "An Axiomatic Approach to Human Behavior," Universal Journal of Psychology, Vol. 5, No. 2, pp. 88 - 94, 2017. DOI: 10.13189/ujp.2017.050205.

(b). APA Format:
Sheldon Grant Levy (2017). An Axiomatic Approach to Human Behavior. Universal Journal of Psychology, 5(2), 88 - 94. DOI: 10.13189/ujp.2017.050205.