Essay on B. F. Skinner

802 Words 4 Pages
B. F. Skinner

Burrhus Frederic Skinner, psychologist and behaviorist, was born in Susquhanna, Pennsylvania in 1904 to William Skinner and Grace Burrhus. His father was a lawywer and his mother was a naturally bright woman. Skinner had only one sibling; his brother died at the age of sixteen. Skinner lived most of his life in Susquhanna. He did not leave the house he was born in until he left to go to college. He was raised very close to his grandparents, who had a major impact on his early life. He was also close to his parents. He and his mother and father all graduated from the same high school. This was the same school that he had attended for all twelve years of his education.

Skinner attended Hamilton College at the
…show more content…
He eventually wrote a mediocre book for the oil companies just to save his self-respect. After writing the book, Skinner spent six months in New York.

In the Fall, Skinner went off to Harvard to begin his study of Psychology. Animal behavior had always interested Skinner, but Human behavior was his main interest. He had always taken notice of the way that people reacted to certain situations. This interest had become obvious when he was in grade school and had continued throughout the rest of his life. Skinner worked hard for the first time in his life at Harvard. He realized that he was far behind in his studies. For two years he did nothing but study pshchology and go to his classes. He graduated in 1931.

In the spring of 1936 the end of Skinner's junior Fellowship was approaching and he had no job. The best job offer that the Department of Psychology could pass along to him was from a YMCA college. Skinner had a friend who was teaching that summer at Minnesota, and he mentioned Skinner to R.M. Elliott, who was looking for someone to teach small sections of a big introductory course. This was the first time that Skinner had taught anything. It was also the first time that he had really learned college pshchology, so he had to study hard to stay ahead of his students.

Skinner experienced a renewed interest in Literature when he realized that the written word could also be analyzed for human behavior. He stopped trying to write
Open Document