Pankey, Barkley, and Post-Behavioralism

Build your relationships first….then your dentistry. ~ Bob Barkley

Pankey, Barkley, and Post-Behavioralism

Posted on

Richard Feynman is widely regarded as one of the top ten physicists of all time. He assisted in the Manhattan Project, has been credited with pioneering the field of quantum computing, and helped introduce the concept of nanotechnology to the world.

At one point, Feynman started working on a new theory of beta decay because his experiments were rendering out different results than what many others claimed to be true.

Feynman went back and investigated the original study on which all of the “experts” based their conclusions, and discovered that the original study was flawed; he discovered that the so-called “truth” was actually nothing more than a bunch of “experts” quoting each other, and then using their mutual opinions to justify their pet theory.

Such is the nature of physics, biology, science, and psychology – where “truth” is a moving object based on current knowledge challenged by skepticism and then influenced by more knowledge over time.

A similar situation occurred in dentistry with regard to psychology, a favorite topic of both L.D. Pankey, and Bob Barkley. To a large degree, Pankey and Barkley were the Robert Feynmans’ of their day. They observed behavior patterns in patients and noticed that the accepted psychological dogma failed to line up with the way that many people actually behaved.

Why don’t people choose to restore their mouths after being presented with irrefutable logic that they should? (and based on a “case presentation”)

You see, dentistry has historically been influenced by behavioristic psychology – the concept that man was a reactive organism or a robot simply influenced by facts.

But anyone who has practiced dentistry for a day knows this is inaccurate. We see people make seemingly irrational decisions all the time. We see behavior that does not follow logic. We see free will in action.

Pankey and Barkley consequently explored the possibility that people were predictably unpredictable – and why. They explored the true motivators behind decision-making, the areas of learning, self-interest, emotion, and readiness.

And as a result, both Pankey and Barkley became masters at helping others make better decisions, and became legends along the way. They rejected established thinking that the simple exposure to logical information leads to learning. They instead focused on HOW people learn and HOW to facilitate that process more and more effectively.

And with that knowledge, they were able to create philosophy-centered practices and help people in ways that others could not.

How has the work of Drs. Pankey and Barkley helped your practice?

Paul A Henny, DDS

Thought Experiments LLC, ©2017


Home Testimonial

“Thanks so much for your continuing efforts to promote and advance the concept of the relationship based practice.” – Jim Otten

Great Forum

What a great forum for sharing the wisdom we have been privileged to gain from those who came before us. Hearing that wisdom expressed in the language of today is so important. ~ Mary Osborne

Get Involved with the
Bob Barkley Study Club Now!

1213 Corporate Circle SW, Roanoke, VA 24018
(540) 774-1577 |

Contact Us