One of the most influential psychologists of all times is Burrhus Frederic Skinner, also known as B. F. Skinner, who was born on March 20, 1904 in a small town called Susquehanna, Pennsylvania. B. F. Skinner was raised in a warm and wealthy home. His father was a lawyer and his mother was a stay at home mom. In Skinner’s early childhood, it was noted that he and his younger brother, Edward James, liked to build things such as arrows and shack in the woods, to name a few ( ). These construction skills would enable an older Skinner to build the equipment invented for his psychology research. As he grew up, he went through all twelve grades at the same school, graduating with less than eight students. Within these years, he developed an interest in art and literature through drawing and later reading Shakespeare (Dews, 1970).
In Skinner’s higher education, he attended Hamilton College in New York, where he majored in English Literature to become a writer ( ). Soon after college, Skinner tried to write his first psychological novel but failed to do so because of family trouble and lack of success. After becoming discontent with his literary skills, and inspired by John B. Watson and Ivan Pavlov’s Behaviorism, he obtained a degree in psychology from Harvard University in 1928. Soon after, Skinner graduated with his PhD from Harvard in 1931, which led him to the development of his influential operant behaviorism ( ).
B. F. Skinners had many contributions within in his
Psychologist, born in Susquhanna, Pa. He studied at Harvard, teaching there (1931-6, 1947-74). A leading behaviorist, he is a proponent of operant conditioning, and the inventor of the Skinner box for facilitating experimental observations.
B.F. Skinner, born on March 20th 1904, was an American behavioural psychologist who carried who carried out many experiments based on how behaviour is shaped and that all humans will regurgitate the things they enjoy doing and avoid those they dislike. He understood that creative people will be rewarded positively in order for that person to take an interest in that particular activity and develop further. He based his theories on self-observation,
B.F. Skinner, the man who set the gold standard for shaping in behavioral anyalisis, known for his animal experiments using boxes built his way into becoming America’s leading neo-behaviorist. Skinner entered into the experimental world almost unintentionally, starting out life to become a novelist then completely switching gears on a whim of curiosity. Skinner didn’t start with a plan, he just had a question, he wanted to understand the behavior of living things. Thus, forming his infamous boxes, not knowing where it would lead him, but wanting to see it something was going to come from it.
He thrived during high school, the principle took special interest in him can told Skinner, “you were born to be a leader of men. Never forget the value of a human life” (10). Even though Skinner had yet to show signs of leadership, many people in his life had already witnessed leadership qualities in him and were encouraging him, “there was something about his demeanor, self-containment, assurance, and assertiveness that suggested his potential for “leadership” in some… unpredictable way” (11). Skinner entered college in 1922 and adapted to it quickly (18). There his desire for autonomy grew, he felt a “sense of relief form even such a minimal constraints as he has experienced at home” (18).
“The ideal of behaviorism is to eliminate coercion: to apply controls by changing the environment in such a way as to reinforce the kind of behavior that benefits everyone,” stated B. F. Skinner (Brainy, 2014). This is a quote that is very popular and was a prime description of those Skinners experiments were meant to prove along with it being a saying that many people in the psychology world followed. Burrhus Fredrick Skinner was born on March 20, 1904 in the small town Susquehanna, Pennsylvania. Skinners father was a lawyer while his mother was a stay at home mom to take care of him and his younger brother. As a boy, he enjoyed creating a variety of gadgets and coming up with convincing ideas that was his step in stone later on when he go into psychological studies. After graduating from Hamilton College in 1926, Skinner was very undecided on what he wanted to do for the rest of his life. Skinner tried to begin a career as a writer and author, but soon realized he was not making any progress; he decided to pursue psychology at Harvard University. After graduating from Harvard, he continued to work there for the rest of his career. After a year of fighting leukemia, Skinner died on August 18,1990. Skinner left a remarkable imprint on the psychology world; by the time he died Skinner was named to be the utmost influential psychologist in the 29th century, along with publishing a considerable amount of books and articles (Zorn, 2014).
“The consequences of behavior determine the probability that the behavior will occur again,” said B. F. Skinner (Cherry, 2014). This is a quote that greatly affected Skinners experiments and influences in the psychology world. Burrhus Fredrick Skinner or also known as B.F. Skinner was born on March 20, 1904 in Pennsylvania. As a boy, he enjoyed creating and conceiving ideas that later lead to his interests in the psychological realm. He graduated from Hamilton College although not knowing what he wanted to do. Skinner began a career as a writer and author; he then decided to pursue psychology at Harvard University. After graduating from Harvard, he continued to work there for the rest of his career. The experiments he performed
B.F. Skinner is an American Psychologist from Pennsylvania who developed the idea of Behaviorism after studying at Harvard University (Biography.com Editors, n.d.). He is also known for his works such as, The Behavior of Organisms (1938), the novel Walden Two (1948), and later Beyond Freedom and Human Dignity (1971) which examines behaviorism in society (Biography.com Editors, n.d.).
Skinner’s theory observes individuals from the point of view of the behavior that they demonstrate. The key weakness of this theory is its attempt to explain the behaviors of an individual solely through visible phenomena. Critics sometimes accuse behaviorists of denying that ideas and thoughts exist (Jensen & Burgess, 1997). The major opposition that behaviorists face is that behavior of a person cannot be understood without including the mental activity of the individual. Critics have accused behaviorists of focusing only on behavior and ignoring the role of physiology, neuroscience, and genetics (Weiss & Rosales-Ruiz, 2014). Sometimes the reactions that people demonstrate have are not related their experience and therefore they have another
Burrhus Frederic Skinner was an upcoming behaviorist in the 1920’s. Skinner and many other behaviorists at the time were revolutionizing the field of psychology by deviating away from common practices and methods. Skinner was the most influential behaviorist during this time period as he contributed the greatest by developing a new way of studying behavior, which came to be known as operant conditioning. Before the development of operant conditioning psychologists mainly focused on classical conditioning; a much simpler method for explaining the process of behavior.
One of the most prominent and influential psychologists of the twentieth century, B.F. Skinner was known as a behavioral psychologist, philosopher of science, and an educational innovator. Throughout his life he did experimental work with animals to discover how patterns of behavior are learned. His initial work was primarily conducted with animals, and later in life he started to work with humans and apply his learning from his pigeon studies to human behavior. He focused on the individual and wrote about how to restructure social systems to improve the quality of life.
Just as Freud is known as the father of Psychoanalysis, B.F. Skinner is often referred to ask the “the father of operant conditioning.” B.F. Skinner is also known for major contributions to the field of psychology (About B.F. Skinner, Sept, 2012). Skinner was a prolific author, publishing nearly 200 articles and more than 20 books. Skinner was most known for his work in behavior psychology. Behavioral psychology is the psychological practice that focuses on learning new behaviors and how to modify our existing behavior and how that takes place (About B.F. Skinner, Sept, 2012). One of his major contributions was his theory of operant conditioning. Operant conditioning means roughly, the changing of behavior by the use of reinforcement, either positive or negative, and which these reinforcements are given after the desired response (About B.F. Skinner, Sept, 2012). Skinner identified three types of responses or operant that can follow behavior.
According to Gewirtz and Peláez-Nogueras (1992), “B. F. Skinner contributed a great deal to advancing an understanding of basic psychological processes and to the applications of science-based interventions to problems of individual and social importance.” He contributed to “human and nonhuman behavior, including human behavioral development, and to various segments of the life span, including human infancy” (p. 1411). One of Skinner's greatest scientific discoveries was “single reinforcement” which became sufficient for “operant conditioning, the role of extinction in the discovery of intermittent schedules, the development of the method of shaping by successive approximation, and Skinner's break with and rejection of stimulus-response
He also read about animals. He collected toads, lizards, and snakes. He trained pigeons to do tricks after he saw them performing one year at a fair. Training the pigeons probably was where he got his ideas of operant conditioning. He attended Susquehanna High School just like his mother and father. In his graduating class there were only eight people including him. He was a very intellectual person. He reported that he really enjoyed school. Over the four years in high school Skinner became good at math and reading Latin, but was no good at science. He was always performing physical and chemical experiments while he was at home. His father was a book collector. Skinner always had a good library of books around his house. Skinner recalled the little collection of applied psychology journals that his father had bought. Those books could have been the starting point in his psychology career. Skinner grew up in a very religious family.
Burrhus Frederic Skinner was born on March 20, 1904 in Susquehanna, Pennsylvania. Skinner was an American psychologist, behaviorist, author, inventor, and a social philosopher. Skinner is known for his discovery of the theory of operant conditioning (Wikipedia). Skinner was a graduate from Harvard University. Although he understood the importance of classical conditioning, he noted that, “principles of classical conditioning account for only a small portion of learned behaviors” (Woolfolk 250). Skinner expressed that through operant conditioning, behavior is strengthened or weakened by antecedents or consequences. Both theorists’ work have a major influence on learning/behavioral concepts.