Summary of B.F. Skinner and Piaget

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B.F. Skinner’s Concept of Verbal Behavior One of the most influential members of the behaviorist movement, as well as among psychologists who study human development was B.F. Skinner (Diessner, 2008, p. 134). Skinner was notable for his description of the acquisition of new behavior through the use of reinenforcement and punishment called operant conditioning (Diessner, 2008). Skinner also contributed his behaviorist explanation of language development through his concept of verbal behavior (Diessner, 2008). To Skinner verbal behavior is basically a behavior which is “reinenforced through the mediation of others” (Skinner, 1957, p. 2) and ultimately the speaker by applying controlling variables of operant conditioning principles (Burk,…show more content…
An explanation of this can be since in the preoperational stage a child’s ideas are based on their perceptions and only focus on one variable at a time, like the smaller containers of liquid (Mooney, 2000). In the second stage of “Intermediary Reactions” which would be the transition between the preoperational stage and the concrete operational stage, behaviors not displayed by all children was noted (Diessner, 2008). First, some children were able to assume that the quantity of liquid would not change when poured from the one tall beaker into the two smaller glasses, but when more glasses were introduced the child went back to the prior stage belief of nonconservation (Diessner, 2008). Another reaction to the experiment was that the child accepted the concept of conservation but as soon as the quantity was greater the child became uncertain (Diessner, 2008). An explanation for these reactions can be that as the child transitions from preoperational to concrete operational stage their ideas of reasoning are still developing (Mooney, 2000). Finally in stage 3 “Necessary Conservation” corresponds to Piaget’s concrete operational stage of cognitive development (Diessner, 2008). In this group children recognized that the quantities of liquid are conserved and the nature of its changes
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