Many individuals may even manifest eccentricities consciously and deliberately, in an attempt to differentiate themselves from societal norms or enhance a sense of inimitable identity; given the overwhelmingly positive stereotypes (at least in pop culture and especially with fictional characters ) often associated with eccentricity, detailed above, certain individuals seek to be associated with this sort of character type. However, this is not always successful as eccentric individuals are not necessarily charismatic, and the individual in question may simply be dismissed by others as just seeking attention.
The Sacred Grove of Oshogbo was one place I had been looking forward to visiting in Nigeria. As prevalent as indigenous religions still are in West Africa, it is often hard to find public expressions of them in towns and cities; the Christianity brought by European slavers and colonialists has taken root and pushed most of these religions out of mainstream life. But in the Sacred Grove shrines honor all the local deities, including Obatala, the god of creation, Ogun, the god of iron, and Oshun, the goddess of water, whose aqueous essence is made manifest by the river running through the trees. The place is unique in the Yoruba religion, and that intrigued me.
Skinner's self-described "radical behaviorist" approach is radical in its insistence on extending behaviorist strictures against inward experiential processes to include inner physiological ones as well. The scientific nub of the approach is a concept of operant conditioning indebted to Thorndike's "Law of Effect." Operants (., bar-presses or key-pecks) are units of behavior an organism (., a rat or pigeon) occasionally emits "spontaneously" prior to conditioning. In operant conditioning, operants followed by reinforcement (., food or water) increase in frequency and come under control of discriminative stimuli (., lights or tones) preceding the response. By increasingly judicious reinforcement of increasingly close approximations, complex behavioral sequences are shaped. On Skinner's view, high-level human behavior, such as speech, is the end result of such shaping. Prolonged absence of reinforcement leads to extinction of the response. Many original and important Skinnerian findings -- ., that constantly reinforced responses extinguish more rapidly than intermittently reinforced responses -- concern the effects of differing schedules of reinforcement. Skinner notes the similarity of operant behavioral conditioning to natural evolutionary selection: in each case apparently forward-looking or goal-directed developments are explained (away) by a preceding course of environmental "selection" among randomly varying evolutionary traits or, in the psychological case, behavioral tricks. The purposiveness which Tolman's molar behavioral description assumes, radical behaviorism thus claims to explain. Likewise, Skinner questions the explanatory utility of would-be characterizations of inner processes (such as Hull's): such processes, being behavior themselves (though inner), are more in need of explanation themselves, Skinner holds, than they are fit to explain outward behavior. By "dismissing mental states and processes," Skinner maintains, radical behaviorism "directs attention to the ... history of the individual and to the current environment where the real causes of behavior are to be found" (Skinner 1987: 75). On this view, "if the proper attention is paid to the variables controlling behavior and an appropriate behavioral unit is chosen, orderliness appears directly in the behavior and the postulated theoretical processes become superfluous" (Zuriff: 88). Thus understood, Skinner's complaint about inner processes "is not that they do not exist, but that they are not relevant" (Skinner 1953) to the prediction, control, and experimental analysis of behavior.