F. Skinner 's Operant Conditioning Theory

1356 Words6 Pages
Burrhus F. Skinner or more commonly known as B. F. Skinner is regarded as one of the most influential psychologists in the world by his peers. In comparison to other behaviorist Skinners approach was referred to as radical behaviorism. Behaviorist search to find answers to how humans behave through observations in the environment not in the mind ("Conversation" 1973). Specifically, B. F. Skinner was not interested in theories that involve speculation, but more importantly theories that could be proven with explicit definitions and findings. His operant conditioning approach controlled behavior. B. F. Skinner 's operant conditioning approach includes but is not limited to shaping, reinforcements, and punishments. One subject that is intertwined in all areas of study and everyday life is mathematics. Often times, math is one of the hardest concepts for people to grasp. In regards to B. F. Skinner 's operant conditioning theory, mathematics can be learned in the classroom through shaping, reinforcement, and punishment. Shaping is primarily used to train animals because it reinforces behaviors that are out of the ordinary. By the same token, mathematics is foreign to humans it is not something that humans know how to do naturally. The complex numbers are not easily grasped and the very same techniques used to teach a dog to ride a bike can be implemented into a lesson to teach a child multiplication or division. Complex behaviors were learned in pigeons quickly through a
Get Access