Frederic Skinner 's Influence On The Mind Of Reward And Punishment

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One of the most renowned psychologist of the 20th century known as Burrhus Frederic Skinner is described to have been a "highly conscientious ,extroverted and somewhat neurotic" man. (article 2). Skinner believed that "our actions are shaped by our experience of reward and punishment" (article 4) a term coined by Skinner himself as operant conditioning. Skinner was born on March 20, 1904 in Susquehanna, Pennsylvania into a "warm and stable environment" (Article 1). Skinner had one younger brother who died of a cerebral aneurysm at the age of 16. His father was a lawyer and his mother was a house wife. During Skinner 's childhood he "showed an interest in building different gadgets and contraptions" (article 5) such as a perpetual motion machine and a cart with a steering wheel. This interest would later serve him well in his research in behaviorism. Skinner attended Hamilton University and studied to become a writer. His writing career did not take a good turn. As he started to work in a bookstore he happened to stumble upon some books written by Pavlov and Watson. He was impressed by their works and started to take in interest in their field. When Skinner was about 24 years old he enrolled himself into the Psychology Department of Harvard University " since he had always enjoyed observing animal and human behavior" (article 4). Skinner was not interested in " understanding the human mind " but rather in "its mental processes" (article 2). This is known as the field of

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