B. F. Skinner Facts

B. F. Skinner Facts
B. F. Skinner (Burrhus Frederic, March 20, 1904 to August 18, 1990) was an American psychologist who is best known for his development of the operant conditioning chamber, otherwise known as the Skinner Box. This research helped form the understanding that consequences have an impact on behavior in otherwise normal humans.
Interesting B. F. Skinner Facts:
Skinner was born in Pennsylvania to a lawyer and a homemaker.
He became an atheist early in life after losing his brother to a cerebral hemorrhage, and after his grandmother's teachings on hell.
However, Skinner went on to attend the religious Hamilton College where his atheist views were not well received.
He earned a B.A in literature and tried to become a novelist, but was unsuccessful despite support from American authors like Robert Frost.
He returned to school and eventually earned a Ph.D. from Harvard, where he would eventually return as both a professor and an eventual board members.
While working on his Master's, Skinner met Fred Keller, who worked with him on his Skinner Box prototype and helped him envision a field of science based on understanding human behavior.
Together, they devised a number of different tools and experiments.
Skinner conducted research at Harvard and held different psychology chair positions at other universities before settling finally again at Harvard in 1948.
His research was what he called radical behaviorism, which aims to understand the relationship between one's environment, one's history of consequences, and how those two factors determine one's behavior.
His work showed support for meaningful and consistent rewards or consequences for behavior, and as a means of controlling or developing certain behaviors.
Skinner's work formed the basis for a number of other psychologists' theories on human behavior and how consequence plays a role in social behavior.
Skinner's most well-known experiments involve his Skinner Box, which produced a positive reinforcement when a lever or button was pressed.
Further experiments also showed that animal subjects would press the lever or button in order to stop negative consequences from occurring, such as electric shocks.
Unfortunately, Skinner's interest in developing new tools and inventions carried over to an unrelated invention, the Air Crib, that was supposed to make child rearing easier and more rewarding while helping the child feel more confident, happy, and secure.
Critics likened the two inventions, and a controversy ensued after a misquote in a newspaper claimed that Skinner experimented on his own daughter and that she later committed suicide, two claims that the daughter has vehemently denounced.


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