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Could you help me with rephrase the hightlighted sentence, which I am not sure I understand it correctly.

Psychology as the behaviorist views it is a purely objective experimental branch of natural science. Its theoretical goal is the prediction and control of behavior. Introspection forms no essential part of its methods, nor is the scientific value of its data dependent upon the readiness with which they lend themselves to interpretation in terms of consciousness. The behaviorist, in his efforts to get a unitary scheme of animal response, recognizes no dividing line between man and brute. The behavior of man, with all of its refinement and complexity, forms only a part of the behaviorist's total scheme of investigation

http://www.simplypsychology.org/behaviorism.html

here is my work :

Introspection does not form any essential part of its methods

Introspection is not the scientific value of its data dependent upon the readiness with which they lend themselves to interpretation in terms of consciousness.

yeah I stuck in these words a bit.I couldn't figure out which sense the word readiness was used? and what could "they lend themselves" mean?

Thank you

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  • is this something you're writing, or something you're reading? Commented Dec 28, 2014 at 17:28
  • hi I read it on the internet.
    – Mrt
    Commented Dec 28, 2014 at 17:47
  • Language is an essential attribute of our life entrusted with the task of defining, interpreting and analyzing the intricacies of human existence. Commented Apr 20, 2018 at 5:02

2 Answers 2

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Introspection forms no essential part of its methods, nor is the scientific value of its data dependent upon the readiness with which they [i.e. the data] lend themselves to interpretation in terms of consciousness.

Gazing inward to question one's own motives is not one of its methods, nor does the scientific value of its data depend upon whether the data can be interpreted in terms of consciousness, i.e. "the human mind aware of itself".

In other words, the behaviorist is not concerned at all about subjects understanding themselves.

When facts are said to lend themselves to an interpretation, the meaning is that the interpretation is applicable to those facts, or the facts support such an interpretation.

The facts are very faintly anthropomorphized when they are spoken of as possessing "readiness". Compare a related locution: the facts are amenable to an interpretation. But these are such pat academic phrases that no one really bothers to look at them closely.

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Psychology as the behaviorist views it is a purely objective experimental branch of natural science. Its theoretical goal is the prediction and control of behavior. Introspection forms no essential part of its methods, nor is the scientific value of its data dependent upon the readiness with which they lend themselves to interpretation in terms of consciousness.

I think it might be easier to rephrase if you used what the pronouns are referring to explicitly. There is some ambiguity there that makes the sentence difficult to understand without reading the surrounding context. I've highlighted the parts I've paraphrased.

Introspection is not an essential part of Psychology-as-the-behaviorist-views-it's methods. The scientific value of Psychology-as-the-behaviorist-views-it's data is not dependent upon how easily they can be interpreted (how readily they lend themselves to interpretation) in terms of consciousness.

I find it a little odd in AmE to refer to data with a plural pronoun, but I think it is a difference in dialect and not incorrect. I think that there are better ways to rephrase the sentence - what I hope to do with my phrasing is make the meaning clearer so that you might come up with your own phrasing.

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  • Psychology-as-the-behaviorist-views-it.
    – TimR
    Commented Dec 28, 2014 at 17:43
  • @TRomano Thanks - that's much clearer than the parentheticals.
    – ColleenV
    Commented Dec 28, 2014 at 17:45
  • I was only emphasizing the behaviorist's departure from traditional psychological approaches, not suggesting that you agglutinate :-)
    – TimR
    Commented Dec 28, 2014 at 17:48
  • @TRomano :) I understood it that way, but my goal is just to make the meaning clearer rather than make a great sentence, and it think it works to that end.
    – ColleenV
    Commented Dec 28, 2014 at 17:49
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    +1 I suspect your discomfort with pl. data is a function of age rather than region: when I was a young academic in the 60s and 70s data was still taken to be the plural of datum (a single fact or observation) rather than a singular mass noun like information. Commented Dec 28, 2014 at 18:03

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