Hubby and I stopped at the video store this evening. Whilst we were perusing the cinematic selections, a lesson on capital punishment wafted across the store. It issued forth from the mouth of a boor. He was delivering his theory on why capital punishment isn’t effective to the woman behind the counter, who was trying hard to be polite while disagreeing with him. He said that the reason capital punishment, which he’s all for, by the way, doesn’t work is because nobody witnesses the executions. Why, people used to make executions a family event! They used to get out the picnic basket and head to the courthouse lawn, where they could watch a hanging in all its glory. Anyone in the audience who had subversive thoughts of murder, rape or kidnapping on his mind would see the hanging and have second thoughts. By golly, what an idea!
‘Course, this loud, blustery guy didn’t stop to think that perhaps the person being hung had witnessed a public execution sometime in his life and look where he ended up. Sheesh!
When Hubby and I left the store, we chatted about the scene we had witnessed. Hubby thought that if the guy was there to pick up the gal behind the counter, perhaps a different approach would have been in order. Nice thinking there, Bucky, bring up a heated topic like capital punishment while trying to woo a girl. Who comes to the video store for this kind of conversation?
Hubby also thought about the social psychology class he’s taking, specifically in relation to Jean Piaget’s four stages of development. The stages are as follows:
1. Sensorimotor (first 2 years)
2. Preoperational (ages 2 – 7)
3. Concrete operational (ages 7 – 11)
4. Formal operational (ages 12 and up)
The stages I’ll concern myself most with here are 3 and 4. In stage 3, problem solving is related to concrete objects and events. In stage 4, problem solving moves to hypothetical or abstract situations. Studies show that more than half of Americans don’t ever reach the fourth stage of development. We’d guess by his behavior, this guy is stuck in stage 3, without any hope of moving on.
While Hubby was busy with the psychological analysis, I was thinking the guy would make a great character in a novel.