B.F. Skinner Essay

708 Words 3 Pages
B.F. Skinner

B.F. Skinner was born on March 20, 1904 in Susquehanna, Pennsylvania. He grew up in a happy and “stable” home environment. Skinner spent a lot of time as a child building and inventing things. After Skinner attended Hamilton College, he worked as a newspaper writer. Then, he went to New York City for a few months and worked as a bookstore clerk.
It was here that Skinner read books about the famous behavior theorists, Pavlov and Watson (B.F. Skinner Foundation, 2002).

When Skinner turned 24, he attended graduate school at Harvard University. As a Psychology student, he teamed up with Physiology Professor, William Crozier. Together, they began to study the relationship between behavior and experimental conditions.
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For example, giving good grades on deserving assignments and tests, writing happy notes on papers, and encouraging students to speak in class by saying “great job.” I feel it is important to say something positive to any class participant, even if what they say is not correct. By saying “good thinking” to a wrong answer, I feel like I am encouraging participation. If I responded to a wrong answer by saying, “no, sorry, you are way off” I am encouraging the student to not answer again. Therefore, I am negatively reinforcing the student and the in the future, the student’s behavior will be to not participate in class. Every reinforcement that I give in my classroom will effect my students’ behavior.

B.F. Skinner’s theory can also be applied to technology. For example, I strongly support the use of educational software. In fact, I usually use the software that comes along with textbooks. When I was a freshman, I took Psychology 101. The software that accompanied the book had many tests and quizzes on it and it also helped me understand the chapters better. Every time I got a correct answer, the program would cheer and a cartoon character would pop on the screen and do a dance. Even though I was 23, I took the quizzes seriously because I enjoyed watching the dancing cartoon. Similar programs are available for students studying for the ACT and SAT tests. The cartoon reinforces correct answers which effects my future behavior…

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