B.F. Skinner and His Three Famous Ideas in Psychology Essay

B.F. Skinner and His Three Famous Ideas in Psychology Essay

Length: 1359 words (3.9 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Strong Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

B.F. Skinner has been known as one of the most influential psychologists to date. Not only did his popularity grow because of his writings and ideas, but many other psychologists use his ideas in their writings as well (O’Donohue, Ferguson, 2001). Countless psychologists were interested in Skinners theories and ideas, which is why he is so popular still today. Skinner had many ideas in the world of psychology, but what most famous for his ideas of radical behaviorism, operant conditioning, and positive and negative reinforcement. B.F. Skinner looked at behaviorism as operant conditioning. He believed that every human and animal action or behavior had a subsequent consequence. After receiving this consequence following a particular behavior, the human or animal would decide whether or not that behavior should be repeated or not. Skinner did not come up with this concept on his own, but learned it from a psychologist named John B. Watson. While Watson’s ideas of radical behaviorism were very prevalent during the early 1900’s, in due course it lost a lot of its popularity. Shortly after the downfall of Watson’s B.F. Skinner created his own adaptation of behaviorism. Skinners adaptation of behaviorism almost instantly went viral. The influence this aspect of psychology had on people was substantially higher than the influence that Watson’s rendition had (Mowrer, 2001, p. 4). This was the birth of B.F. Skinner’s rising popularity in the psychology world.
Burrhus Frederic Skinner was born on March 20, 1904, in a small quaint town in Pennsylvania called Susquehanna (O’Donohue, Ferguson, 2001). Growing up, Skinner lived a relatively happy and healthy life with a close-knit family. The Skinner family were of middle class and...

... middle of paper ...

...t, B.F. Skinner had many ideas that critics did not agree with. His behaviorist beliefs contained the idea that humans control their own actions, and that leaving your life up to fate or a higher power is not a plausible option. He felt that if a person left their life and decisions up to someone else, it would not bring a positive outcome because they do not have the person’s best interest in mind (Delprato, Midgley, 1992, p. 1510). Skinner also believed that an individual’s actions are not separate from the environment in which they are in at the time. He had a strong belief that eventually, psychologists would be able to know the behavior that was about to be emitted, before it actually was. Skinner believed that taking the context of a situation would release an organism’s behavior, thus making the prediction of a beings actions (Delprato, Midgley, p.1510).

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

B. F. Skinner Essays

- B.F. Skinner      B.F. Skinner was one of the most influential theorists in modern psychology. His work was very important and has been studied by many for years. Skinner was a very straightforward man and a very educated man. His theories have helped mankind in many ways. He has studied the behavior patterns of many living organisms. Skinner was a well-published writer. His work has been published in many journals. He also has written many books on behaviorism. His most important work was the study of behaviorism....   [tags: Psychology Psychological Skinner Essays]

Strong Essays
1603 words (4.6 pages)

Psychology Is No Science And Its Impact On The Field Of Psychology Essay

- Yes. William James, who declared that “psychology is no science”, never even took a psych course, loathed conducting experiments, and rebuked being labeled as a psychologist; yet, he wrote a vast and authoritative Principle of Psychology (2 volume text book). So, how is it that James came to make such a significant impact on the field of psychology that he was accredited as “the most brilliant psychologist the world has ever known” (quoted in Leary, 2003, pp. 19-20). Maybe, he was praised for his style of writing (he conveyed his ideas clearly and effectively promoted them)....   [tags: Psychology, Clinical psychology, Scientific method]

Strong Essays
1179 words (3.4 pages)

The Theories Of The Field Of Psychology Essay

- The field of psychology is a large field. In that field of study, there are many different ways of viewing things, and among those points of view, or approaches, is the behavioral approach and the psychoanalytic, or psychodynamic, approach. As would be expected, each approach focuses and interprets psychology differently. Behaviorists tend to focus more on the changes in behavior in relation to a person’s environment, whereas people of the psychoanalytic field tend to focus more on seeing human functioning based on the interaction of drives and forces “within the person, particularly unconscious, and between the different structures of the personality” (McLeod, 2007)....   [tags: Sigmund Freud, Psychology, Josef Breuer, Carl Jung]

Strong Essays
1696 words (4.8 pages)

Skinner’s Use of Metaphor in Explaining the Behaviorism of Walden Two Essay

- Skinner’s Use of Metaphor in Explaining the Behaviorism of Walden Two B. F. Skinner revolutionized the field of psychology through his numerous writings on behaviorism. However, he began his collegiate life as an English major, and his education in literary techniques and devices clearly shows through in the manipulation of metaphor in his famous novel Walden Two. Although Skinner rarely diverges from the incessant description of behavioral engineering through his mouthpiece in the novel, Frazier, he occasionally digresses from the theory and application of scientific experimentation to the literary elements that are essential to any novel....   [tags: Psychology]

Strong Essays
1185 words (3.4 pages)

Alfred Adler 's Influence On Psychology Essay example

- ... The air crib which was nothing more than a combination of a crib and a playpen with glass sides and air conditioning. Skinner became chairman of the psychology department at Indiana University. He was a very active young man, doing research and guiding hundreds of doctoral candidates as well as writing many books. He became one of the best psychology writers, including the book Walden II. Carl Rogers was, born January 8, 1902 in Oak Park, Illinois, a Suburb of Chicago. Rogers father, Walter, was a civil engineer and his mother, Julia, was a homemaker and devout Pentecostal Christian....   [tags: Psychology, Carl Jung, Alfred Adler]

Strong Essays
1342 words (3.8 pages)

Alfred Adler 's Work And Theory Of Individual Psychology Essay

- ... Sigmund Freud, was born in 1856. He is sometimes referred to the father of psychoanalysis. Just like Adler Freud was raised in Vienna. In 1873 he went to the University of Vienna and studied biology. In the 1900 he published three books about his studies. When Freud first introduced his psychoanalytic theory a lot of people did not agree with him. It wasn’t until 1908 when he got recognized for this theory. After being recognized in 1908 he was invited to the US to do lectures about his psychoanalytic theory....   [tags: Sigmund Freud, Psychoanalysis, Psychology]

Strong Essays
1241 words (3.5 pages)

Major Theoretical Perspectives in Psychology Essay

- Major Theoretical Perspectives in Psychology INTRODUCTION In this assignment I will be describing the five major schools of psychological research. These are Behaviorism, Biological, Cognitive, Humanist and Psychoanalytical. I will then attempt to evaluate the pros, cons and practical applications of the Behaviorist and Psychodynamic approaches. BEHAVIORISM The earliest origins of behaviorism can be stemmed from the philosopher John Locke (1632-1704). He believed that the human being is born as a 'tabula rasa'....   [tags: Psychology Papers]

Strong Essays
2417 words (6.9 pages)

Skinner 's Theory Of Psychology And A Noticeable Spokesperson For Behaviorism

- B.F. Skinner was considered the father of behavioral approach to psychology and a noticeable spokesperson for behaviorism. According to Corey (2013), he advocated radical behaviorism. In other words it placed a primary importance on the effects of environment on behavior. Skinner was a determinist; he did not consider that humans had free choices. He recognized the existence of feeling and thoughts, but disagreed about them causing humans action. In its place, he underlined the cause-and-effect links between objective, observable environmental conditions and behavior....   [tags: Behaviorism, Psychology, Classical conditioning]

Strong Essays
707 words (2 pages)

Burrhus Frederic Skinner Essays

- Burrhus Frederic Skinner People do on a day to day basis, many actions without realizing it, and most of the time, they don’t know why they do them. Certain reinforcements, some positive, and some negative have conditioned their actions and thoughts. All organisms, including humans, are greatly influenced by the consequences produced by their own behavior. The environment holds the key to most of the changes that occur in the way a person behaves and a human’s own behavior brings consequences that change his or her actions (B....   [tags: B.F. Skinner Psychologists Psychology Essays]

Strong Essays
1141 words (3.3 pages)

Behaviorism or Black Box Psychology Essay

- ... Watson a behaviorist lived from (1878-1958). Watson grew up in a broken family where is father cheated and eventually left his mother (John B. Watson). Watson modeled his behavior by cheating on his first wife and eventually marrying on of his students (John B. Watson). Watson turned his life back around with the help of one of his teachers named Gordon Moore (John B. Watson). He became interested in the field of psychology as well as animal behavior at the University of Chicago and his career although short lived took off from there (John B....   [tags: Pavlov, Skinner]

Strong Essays
1175 words (3.4 pages)