Stimulus-Response (S-R) Thinking

StimulusS-R ThinkingTable STPHFRQuotationsRelated Pages

STPHFR Thinking Is Better than S-R Thinking

  • Read for a complete understanding of STPHFR.

Note on This Page


  • S-R thinking is only applicable to dead things.
  • S-R thinking is in error when applied to living things.
  • Most of the difficulty that occurs in human relations occurs because of S-R thinking.
  • S-R thinking is the basis of emotional immaturity.
  • S-R thinking is the foundation of whining, blaming, and damning.
  • S-R thinking occurs when you blame the S, stimulus, for your R, response, to S.


  • Boredom is a good example of the problem of applying S-R thinking to people.
  • The bored typically blame the situation for their boring response to it.
  • However, feeling bored is a mental state and as such is caused by the mind, by your thinking.
  • The situation or event that you are blaming for your “being” bored is not itself a mental state.
  • The situation or event is actually neutral. It is only your interpretation of the event that makes the event to appear to be either negative or positive.
  • No event is a mental state.
  • No event causes mental states.
  • Humans choose mental states by habit or conscious living.
  • Click for more information on STPHFR.

STPHFR 6 Steps of Feeling & Acting

Quotations from Various Sources

Listed Alphabetically

“A baby expects to be soothed, but a mature adult soothes themselves.” —Kevin Everett FitzMaurice

“A man’s as miserable as he thinks he is.” —Marcus Seneca

“A wise man will make more opportunities than he finds.” —Francis Bacon

“Adults are experts at self-disturbance and inept at self-soothing.” —Kevin Everett FitzMaurice

“Are you part of the problem or part of the solution?” —Anonymous

“But let every man prove his own work, and then shall he have rejoicing in himself alone, and not in another.” —Galatians 6:4

“Don’t go around saying the world owes you a living. The world owes you nothing. It was here first.” —Mark Twain

“Either do not attempt at all, or go through with it.” —Ovid

“God has entrusted me with myself.” —Epictetus

“Great works are performed not by strength, but by perseverance.” —Samuel Johnson

“If pleasure first, then pain second.” —Kevin Everett FitzMaurice

“If we have not peace within ourselves, it is in vain to seek it from outward sources.” —Francois de La Rochefoucauld

“It is not easy to find happiness in ourselves, and it is not possible to find it elsewhere.” —Agnes Repplier

“Luck is where preparation meets opportunity.” —Anonymous

“Man is condemned to be free; because once thrown into the world, he is responsible for everything he does.” —Jean-Paul Sartre, 1905-1980

“No one has ever gotten to anyone.” —Kevin Everett FitzMaurice

“Nothing stops the man who desires to achieve. Every obstacle is simply a course to develop his achievement muscle. It’s a strengthening of his powers of accomplishment.” —Eric Butterworth

“Obstacles don’t have to stop you. If you run into a wall, don’t turn around and give up. Figure out how to climb it, go through it, or work around it.” —Michael Jordan

“Pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional.” —Anonymous

“Teaching the principle of emotional responsibility can be one of the hardest tasks in REBT as clients may have habitually blamed others for their problems and now the therapist is pointing to the true source of their emotional problems–themselves.” —Michael Neenan and Windy Dryden, Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy: Advances in Theory and Practice,p. 43

“The only disability in life is a bad attitude.” —Scott Hamilton

“The willingness to accept responsibility for one’s own life is the source from which self-respect springs.” —Joan Didion

“There is no man so low that the cure for his condition does not lie strictly within himself.” —Thomas L. Masson

“Whatever may be, I am still largely the creator and ruler of my emotional destiny.” —Albert Ellis and Robert A. Harper, A Guide to Rational Living, Third Edition, p. 252

“While they were saying among themselves it cannot be done, it was done.” —Helen Keller

“Why is it that people are willing to take responsibility for their happiness or mild sadness but not their severe disturbance or great

unhappiness?–why ego of course!” —Kevin Everett FitzMaurice