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B. F. Skinner Essay

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B. F. Skinner

Burris Frederic Skinner was born on March 20th, 1904 in Susquehanna,
Pennsylvania. His mother, Grace M. Burrhus, was a stenographer and a secretary, in a law office and later in a railroad chief executive's office. His father,
William A. Skinner, was an attorney, who studied law with another local attorney at a New York Law School. Skinner's parents were both good students. His father had bought several sets of books, so there was a lot of reading material their children. Skinner said that his parents never used physical punishment, except for the time they washed his mouth out with soap for bad language. (Ulrich,
1997) B. F. Skinner was very adventurous child. He lead a 300 mile canoe trip down the Susquehanna River when
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This means that basically- you do something to get a reward. Like
Watson, Skinner denied that feelings play any part in determining behavior.
Instead, he claimed that the drive to be rewarded determines our behavior.
(Demar, 1996)
Some critics feel that operant conditioning was a dangerous technique because Skinner was controlling people and could have manipulated them. In reply to their criticism, Skinner argued that control is not wrong. Control is very important and sometimes unavoidable in education, government, and therapy.
(Bijou, 1994) What Skinner objects to is the fact that control is usually used in negative ways which include the use of threat, punishment or to use other people. Skinner argues that because of this, people are against control, because the people in control use their power it in a negative way. For instance, In the family, a child is controlled by the fear of punishment from his parents.
In school, the students are placed in a threatening environment in which they can escape only by learning. Our government controls us through laws, rules, and regulations. Skinner claims that what is needed is not less control but better control. Better control could be used if society had adopted his psychological theories. If this where to happen there would be better ways of teaching, better working conditions, and a better system of
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