Did the other Wes Moore determine his behaviors based on B. F. Skinner’s theories, John Watson’s theories, Sigmund Freud’s theories, or another psychologist’s theories?

Wes Moore could plausibly determine his behaviors based on the theories of Sigmund Freud or B. F. Skinner. Freud’s theories of the unconscious could be applied to Moore’s memories of his dad. Skinner’s theories about conditioning could be used to explain why military school changed him.

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

In his book, Wes Moore doesn’t appear to explicitly cite any of the psychologists listed in the question. To connect Moore’s behaviors to those psychologists, one will have to create a link themselves. For instance, when Moore talks about the sudden death of his dad, he writes, “At this point, my memories get less distinct.” It’s possible to relate Moore’s hazy recollections to Sigmund Freud’s idea of the unconscious. The unconscious is a place where people bury troubling, disturbing occurrences. One could argue that Moore’s initial wayward behavior is due to the trauma of his dad’s death. To overcome his adverse choices, he has to deal with what his father’s death meant to him.

Moore’s experiences at military academy might be seen as an example of Moore grappling with his unconscious. The school introduces Moore to father figures that his unconscious sought. They helped put him on a sustainable, less precarious path.

Moore’s behavior at the military school can also be connected to B. F. Skinner. Skinner’s main belief was that free-will was an illusion. Every person is a product of their environment. People’s choices are not independent but dependent upon the conditions that their respective situations create. In the military school, Moore makes different choices because the school provides Moore with disciplined, structured options.

Last Updated by eNotes Editorial on
Soaring plane image

We’ll help your grades soar

Start your 48-hour free trial and unlock all the summaries, Q&A, and analyses you need to get better grades now.

  • 30,000+ book summaries
  • 20% study tools discount
  • Ad-free content
  • PDF downloads
  • 300,000+ answers
  • 5-star customer support
Start your 48-Hour Free Trial