B.F. Skinner

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Burrhus Frederic Skinner, or widely known as B.F was born on March 20, 1904. Skinner knew Psychology was for him when he read some books by Isaac Pavlov and John B. Watson, and he enrolled at Harvard University. He also introduced some new ideas to psychology. Skinner psychological experiments, though most were on animals, changed the way people study psychology today. Operant conditioning started with B.F. Skinner. However, Skinner’s operant conditioning came from Edward Thorndike’s Law of Effect Theory, which states that “behavior is determined by the consequences associated with the good or bad behavior.” Skinner associated the term reinforcement with Operant Conditioning because he believed that reinforcement would strengthen a behavior. (McLeod, 2007) Skinner came up with this theory through his various experiments with animals. One of Skinner’s famous experiments that tested his Operant conditioning theory was the Skinner box. He used this box to record the times the rat pressed the lever, but the rat would not automatically press the lever. In order to shape the rat’s behavior, Skinner had to use food as a positive reinforcement to encourage the rat to press the lever. Eventually, Skinner added a shock to see how the rat would behave. The rats soon learned that if they pressed the lever the shock would not be delivered. (McLeod) This type of experiment that Skinner performed is called negative reinforcement. It is called negative reinforcement because the shock is supposed to increase the chances of the rats pushing the lever. Then, Skinner conducted another experiment to see if the rats could stop the shock from happening. In this experiment, Skinner warned the rats of the shock by shinning a light; though it... ... middle of paper ... ... math problem. Skinner’s contribution to psychology changed the way people view development, and it also allowed his theories to be upgraded. Works Cited Fodor, JA; Bever, TG; & Garrett, MF. (1975) The Psychology of Language: An Introduction to Psycholinguistics and Generative Grammar. New York: McGraw-Hill. Retrieved September 10, 2013, www3.niu.edu/acad/psy/Mills/History/2003/cogrev_skinner.htm. Greengrass, M. (2004). 100 Years of B.F. Skinner. American Psychological Association, 35(3), 80. Retrieved from http://www.apa.org/monitor/mar04/skinner.aspx. McLeod, S. A. (2007). B.F. Skinner- Operant Conditioning. Simply Psychology. Retrieved from http://www.simplypsychology.org/operant-conditioning.html. Vargas, J.S. (2005). A Brief Biography of B.F. Skinner. B.F. Skinner Foundation. Retrieved f http://www.bfskinner.org/bfskinner/AboutSkinner.html.

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