Premium Essay

Major Theorist: Skinner

In: Philosophy and Psychology

Submitted By debbie1
Words 552
Pages 3
Synopsis
Skinner addresses operant behavior in this article. Operant behavior refers to behavior that operates on the environment or is controllable by the individual. Skinner suggests that operant behavior usually affects the environment and generates stimuli which “feed back” to the organism. This feedback can be a reward and/or punishment (Skinner, 2012, p. 55). Skinner investigates this by using an aluminum box divided into two compartments. In one compartment, a pigeon is able to peck a translucent plastic plate behind a circular opening which is a delicate electric key. When pecked, the circuit is closed to operate recording and controlling equipment. Colored lights can be projected on the back of the plate as stimuli (Skinner, 2012, p. 54). Operant reinforcement is demonstrated when food is given to the pigeon when it pecks the key, which created the high probability of responding. If the food is not given when the pigeon pecks the key, the rate declines or may even stop all together. This is called operant conditioning or extinction. What happened when intermittent reinforcements, like fixed ratio or variable ratio reinforcement was used? This is where reinforcements are based on time and/or counters. Skinner relates this type of reinforcement to our everyday life and how few of the things we do always “pay off”. The dynamic characteristics of our behavior depend upon the actual schedules of reinforcement (Skinner, 2012, p. 55). The colored lights in the box act as the stimuli and only make appearance prior to the response. The general rule seems to be that the stimuli present at the moment of reinforcement produce a maximal probability that the response will be repeated (Skinner, 2012, p. 57). Skinner suggests parallels between human and “infrahuman” behavior in noting the similarity of fixed ratio schedules to piece-rate pay (oldest type…...

Similar Documents

Free Essay

B.F. Skinner: in Inspiration in Psychology

...B. F. Skinner An Inspiration in Psychology Kimberly Whitmore PSY3421, Psychology of Learning and Motivation Abstract Burrhus Fredrick Skinner, a son, literary writer, husband, father and most important an inspiration in the psychology world. B.F. Skinner born March 20, 1904, in a small railroad town in Pennsylvania, was a creative child who liked to think out side the box. Skinner was a behaviorist, which means he seeks out the explanation to human behavior not in the mind but outside within the environment that collectively determines behavior. In the opinion of his professional peers, he was the most influential psychologist in the country. Over his career in Psychology, Skinner also faced criticisms, especially when it came to the Air Crib. Skinner was a revolution to the times in psychology, with his research, his workings with the military, experiments on dogs, pigeons and rodents to his observational findings. His philosophies of behaviorism still play a major part in the psychology world today. Skinner is the most important American psychologist of the twentieth century, and arguably the most important world psychologist. No issue seemed too large or too small for his observant eye and his analytic insights. 1. A Skinner Family Background. 2. How did Skinner make his way in to Psychology? 3. What is the cumulative recorder? 4. What is the operant conditioning chamber; also know as Skinner’s Box? 5. What is operant behavior? 6. The......

Words: 3209 - Pages: 13

Free Essay

Skinner

...Burrhus Frederic Skinner or better known as, B.F. Skinner is my famous psychologist that I will be writing about. Burrhus Skinner is ranked as the number one well known psychologist in July of 2002 when a study was conducted in an issue of “Review of General Psychology”, Ranking of 99 most famous psychologist and B.F. Skinner was ranked as the leading most famous psychologist. Burrhus Frederic Skinner’s early years- He was born on March 20th, 1904 in Pennsylvania. He had a very good childhood upbringing. He had a very inventive mind he enjoyed inventing new things when he was a child and later on in his life all the years when he was a child inventing things this trait would become very useful. In 1926 B.F. Skinner received a B.A. in English Literature from Hampton College. Burrhus Frederic Skinner had a degree in English literature yes and he also tried to pursue being a novelist but it was not what he really wanted to do, so he entered into Harvard University for the schools Psychology program. He then was Married Yvonne Blue in 1936 and had two daughters named Deborah and Julie. Burrhus Frederic Skinner’s career started in 1945 in Bloomington, Indiana where he was the department chair of psychology at the University of Indiana. He became part of the Harvard University Psychology Department in 1948 and remained there for the rest of his life. Burrhus Frederic Skinner was the leader of behaviorism, his work was experimental psychology. Since Skinner was an inventor he...

Words: 384 - Pages: 2

Free Essay

B.F Skinner

...Psychology Paper One of the most influential, yet controversial psychologists in the 20th Century was B.F. Skinner. Skinner was born on March 20, 1904 in Susquehanna, Pennsylvania. As a young boy, he spent his time inventing. A well-known invention from his childhood was used for a door to door business selling elderberries; he built a flotation system which could separate ripe from green berries. His inventions continued on to his high school years when he made a contraption used to spread “green dust” that helped the broom to pick up dirt. Skinner went on to further his education at Hamilton College. There, Skinner decided he would pursue a career in writing. After college, he lacked inspiration for writing and his only works consisted of a few newspaper articles. Instead of writing, he worked as a bookstore clerk where he became enthralled when reading about Pavlov and Watson. Skinner then enrolled in the Psychology Department of Harvard University. Thus began Skinner’s journey into the world of Psychology. While in college, Skinner experimented and uncovered new findings that Pavlov and Watson had missed. Skinner designed an operant chamber, known as a Skinner box. The box has a bar that an animal presses to release a reward of food or water. Inside the box is a device that records these responses. Skinner used the process of shaping during his experiments. Shaping is a procedure in which rewards, such as food, gradually guide the subject’s action towards a certain......

Words: 924 - Pages: 4

Premium Essay

Skinner Article

...| Skinner Article | | | Behavioral Science | 2/2/2013 | | Teaching and learning from Burrhus Frederic Skinner, theorist and psychologist. You will see his many contributions that will be bought to your attention so that he can receive the recognition one as influential as an American psychologist. Skinner is known for his highly developed theory of operant conditional as well as the invention of the Skinner box. This box allowed the study of subjects' interactions with the environment. His theory on operant conditioning uses punishment and reinforcement to modify behavior. In order to withhold the production of various responses in the operant conditioning the punishments and reinforcements are applied. Those in the research or subjects will then learn what types behavior will receive a reward or will receive punishment. Operant is just one of the theories that he developed. Skinner developed a theory known as superstitious behavior. Using the mechanism to feed caged pigeons for this researched only to show unpredictable intervals then to discover that the birds were associated with feedings and whatever actions they had, by chance, been performing when they received it. He also was able to deduce the behavior that will explain how human belief is in superstition. The football fan wears a lucky socks or lucky shirt to assure that his/her team will win. Skinner's work has given rise to experiments by other researchers. There are those who also......

Words: 251 - Pages: 2

Premium Essay

Skinner Article

...Skinner Article BEH/225 3/20/2013 David Stephensen (Instructor) Axia College of University of Phoenix B.F Skinner, theorist and psychologist. He was born in 1904 in a small town in Pennsylvania, breakthrough research in the field of psychology. Skinner was a famous controversial behavioral scientist who longed to be a writer as a young man. His main aim was to focus on operant conditioning. Operant Conditioning is a type of learning where behaviors are repeated to earn rewards, or avoid punishment (Morris & Maisto 2010). Operant conditioning is when we use consequences to transform or shape behavior, either to increase or decrease a voluntary behavior. According to J. Dinsmoor, “Skinner suggested that it is punishment that people find objectionable and against which they rebel, rather than simply, the fact that our behavior is under external control. Positive reinforcement leads to voluntary cooperation. Hostile reactions to Skinner's message may reflect confusion of his opposition to autonomous action as a scientific concept with opposition to behavior described as autonomous. Negative reactions toward science, psychology, and the use of "lower" animals to understand human behavior may also have played a role. Properly understood, Skinner was much closer to the libertarian than to the totalitarian end of the political spectrum.” You will notice his many contributions that will be brought to your attention so that he can receive the recognition as one of the......

Words: 458 - Pages: 2

Premium Essay

Theories and Theorists

...Theories and Theorists Application 1 Week 5 Kimberly Perkins Walden University Theory is described as “a set of interrelated constructs, definitions and propositions that presents a systematic view of phenomena by specifying relations among variables with the purpose of explaining natural phenomena” (Creswell, 2009). There are multiple theories that are used in the field of psychology such as Cognitive Behavioral Theory, Learning Theory and Personality Theories to name a few. For the purpose of this paper I have chosen to further explore the Humanistic and Developmental Theories. Humanistic Theory believes that humans are different from all organisms and that they control all events and destinies that shape the world around them (Crandell, Crandell and Zanden, 2009). Humanistic theorists believe in the holistic approach, the whole individual and their surroundings are taken into account and they are not just seen as a number or data that is being collected. These theorists argue that “scientific inquiry should be directed toward helping people achieve freedom, hope and self-fulfillment ( Crandell et al. 2009). The goal in mind for this theory is to have the individual viewed as the controller of their situation, making the individual more motivated and have increased self-esteem. One of the greatest Humanistic theorists in my opinion was Carl Rogers. Carl Rogers was born in 1902 in Oak Park Illinois. Roger’s initial major was in agriculture however after 2 years he...

Words: 1313 - Pages: 6

Free Essay

B.F Skinner and Jean Piaget

...Learning from B.F Skinner and Jean Piaget The psychological studies of B.F Skinner and Jean Piaget in the field of learning revolutionized the understanding of learning processes, and undoubtedly paved the way for future psychologists. The findings of B.F Skinner and his theory on operant learning expanded the horizons of his generation. Jean Piaget also constructed the basis by which we evaluate the logical capabilities of youth, and he developed a theory of schemas. Both of these eminent psychologists have left a mark on the field of learning, and while both are dissimilar, they have common themes and continuities that cannot be overlooked. Burrhus Frederic Skinner was born on March 20, 1904, to William Arthur Skinner (a lawyer) and Grace Madge Burrhus, born with an aptitude for mechanical toys and gadgets. In his adolescence he showed interest in works by Charles Darwin and Francis Bacon. In his early adult life he attended Hamilton College in Clinton, New York where he studied English language and Literature, during his time at University he was heavily engaged in the campus magazine, and was known for his hand in pranks. After graduation he was exposed to Behaviorism by the literary magazine Dial, and read further into Conditioned Reflexes by Ivan Pavlov, he soon realized that he was interested in human behavior and was convinced by a close friend that science was the next big thing, he decided to engage in work in psychology. He enrolled at Harvard in 1928, and......

Words: 1375 - Pages: 6

Premium Essay

A Comparison of Theorist

...A Comparison of Theorists Many of the greatest theorists of the past decade have helped form the foundation of knowledge. In this paper, this writer will compare two of the most talented theorists of the time. Abraham Maslow and B.F. Skinner are just two of the many theorists that have formed the organization in today’s classrooms. This paper will address the differences in the theories and the similarities. It will describe how each theory can be implemented in the learning environment of an early childhood classroom. Lastly, it will describe each theory that will be compared supported by research. Comparison of two Theories Operant Behavior Conditioning of Burrhus Frederic Skinner (1904-1990) BF Skinner renowned for his theory of Operant Behavior (Maslow and Skinner: n.d.). He is known for, his leadership in the field behavior modification through conditioning. This states that behavior is affected by the consequence that follows the behavior. This is a practice teachers, utilize in the classrooms every day as part of the classroom management process: if the behavior of the child or children is unacceptable, the consequence will not be favorable. If the behavior is positive, the consequences will also be positive. Really, Skinner's theory states that good behavior is reinforced while bad behavior is reprimanded (Maslow and Skinner, n.d.). Ultimately, Skinner believed that in order to change behavior there had to be a positive stimulus to reinforce that behavior.......

Words: 1324 - Pages: 6

Premium Essay

Nursing Theorists

...concepts and theories by past and current nursing theorists. These theorists have helped shape the profession from 19th century till date. New theories are emerging due to advance in health care, as off-shoot of previous theories and also as addition to suit present day application. This paper shall look at the works (theories) of Florence Nightingale; Environmental theory, Jean Watson; Human caring theory, and Madeleine Leininger; Culture care diversity and universality and how it relates with Minot State University’s mission statement and philosophy. In addition, the paper will venture into the merits and demerits of these theories. These nursing theorists viewed nursing differently but, have a common goal in aiming to deliver service to clients using different methods. This adds to the dynamism inherent in nursing profession and provides platform upon which improvements are made. Nightingale focuses on manipulating the environment to cater for health needs of patients and prevention of illnesses. Jean Watson presents a care approach view at nursing. She ultimately support the value of caring relationship in dealing with clients. While Madeleine Leininger stress the importance of cultural understanding and application before, during, and after interacting with clients. Keywords: Nursing, caring, culture, cultural diversity, cultural universality, carative factors. Florence Nightingale’s Environment Theory Nightingale was a major pioneer of nursing as a profession.......

Words: 1265 - Pages: 6

Premium Essay

Skinner and Behaviorism

...Born March 20th 1909, B.F Skinner had what he called a “warm and stable” childhood in Pennsylvania. According to Cherry (2013) “As a boy, he enjoyed building and inventing things; a skill he would later use in his own psychological experiments.” After earning his B.A. in English literature in 1926 from Hamilton College, Skinner spent time as a writer. After discovering the writings of Pavlov and Watson, Skinner was inspired to return to school to study psychology. Skinner received his graduate degree from Harvard University. In 1936, Skinner was married to Yvonne Blue and later had two daughters, Julie and Deborah. A crib Skinner designed for his daughter Deborah and named the air bed or the Skinner tender that was intended to help his wife ease some of the parenting duties such as waking in the middle of the night to add blankets to a cold baby, later sparked a backlash of criticism of Skinners work and false rumors about Deborah committing suicide. According to “B.F. Skinner Foundation” (2013) In 1938, Skinner wrote The Behavior of Organisms which “summarizes nearly ten years of research, spanning the years of Skinner's graduate school days at Harvard through his three years as a member of the Society of Fellows.” In 1945, Skinner became the Psychology Department Chair at the University of Indiana. Three years later he joined the psychology department at Harvard University where he remained for the duration of his life. It was at Harvard where Skinner’s inventions......

Words: 1070 - Pages: 5

Premium Essay

Skinner

...Madeline Clausell ABA "The consequences of behavior determine the probability that the behavior will occur again" --B. F. Skinner. B. F. Skinner was born March 20, 1904. B.F. Skinner described his Pennsylvania childhood as "warm and stable." As a boy, he enjoyed building and inventing things; a skill he would later use in his own psychological experiments. Skinner married Yvonne Blue in 1936, and the couple went on to have two daughters, Julie and Deborah. Burrhus Frederic (B.F.) Skinner majored in literature at Hamilton College in New York. He went to New York City in the late 1920s to become a writer, but he wasn't very successful. So he decided to go back to school, and went to Harvard to study psychology, since he had always enjoyed observing animal and human behavior. For the most part, the psychology department there was immersed in introspective psychology, and Skinner found himself more and more a behaviorist. He worked in the lab of an experimental biologist, however, and developed behavioral studies of rats. He had always been a tinkerer, and loved building Rube Goldberg contraptions as a kid; he put that skill to use by designing boxes to automatically reward behavior, such as depressing a lever, pushing a button, and so on. His devices were such an improvement on the existing equipment; they've come to be known as Skinner boxes. Skinner received his PhD in 1931. In 1936 he took an academic position at the University of Minnesota where he wrote The Behavior of......

Words: 779 - Pages: 4

Premium Essay

Nursing Theorist

...Nursing Theorist: Betty Neuman Nursing Theorist: Betty Neuman Intro Nursing theories are the basic concepts that define nursing practice and provide the explanation to why nurses do what they do. Nurses are exposed to theories everyday in clinical practice. During any given day, a nurse will utilize multiple nursing theories. These theories guide how a nurse treats patients, how tasks are performed, assessments completed and interventions established. By studying nursing theory, it allows the nurse to sharpen critical thinking skills. One such theorist is Betty Neuman. Betty Neuman Educational background and career path Used widely in today’s nursing, Betty Neuman began developing her system many years ago. In 1947 she received RN Diploma from Peoples Hospital School of Nursing, Akron, Ohio. She then moved to California and gained experience as a hospital, staff, and head nurse; school nurse and industrial nurse; and as a clinical instructor in medical-surgical, critical care and communicable disease nursing. In 1957 Dr. Neuman attended the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) with double major in psychology and public health. She received BS in nursing from UCLA. In 1966 she received Masters Degree in Mental Health; Public Health Consultation from UCLA ("Nurses Info," “n.d.”, p. 1) Neuman developed a widely used theory model named, Neuman’s Systems Model in 1970. There are many aspects of today’s nursing that uses Neuman’s model. Define Neuman’s......

Words: 1214 - Pages: 5

Premium Essay

Management Theorists

...Part 1: Machiavelli, Fayol and Taylor The 20th century was remarkable for the rise of the professional manager – often basing his or her approach to management on a particular theory or favoured guru. MBA students all over the world have investigated these theories and written countless assignments discussing their value. As we progress through the 21st century, are these theories still relevant or have they had their day? This article is the first in a three-part series that looks at ten influential theorists and the influence they still have. The series does not attempt to create a ‘top ten’ or rank contributions in any way (they are presented in chronological order), but aims to provide food for thought and debate. Part 1 looks at Machiavelli, Fayol and Taylor – three famous theorists who have all passed into management mythology, but whose views are sometimes misunderstood. MANAGEMENT THEORISTS In a three-part series, Dilys Robinson looks at ten influential theorists and assesses their influence in business today Thinkers for the 21st century? NICCOLO MACHIAVELLI, 1469–1527 The end justifies the means achiavelli lived in Florence, where he worked for the Florentine state as a secretary, then a diplomat. His best known work, The Prince,1 is based on his observation of Cesare Borgia – a cunning, cruel and self-seeking man. Machiavelli did not regard Cesare Borgia as an ideal person, but thought that, under him, the Florentines could unite Italy – and this was......

Words: 5652 - Pages: 23

Premium Essay

Theories and Theorists

...Theories and Theorists Zsofia Kappelman-Arany Walden University Theories and Theorists I am completing a master’s degree in Culture of Psychology. One of my goals is working with children in the future. Therefore, it is crucial to understand human development theories that I will be able to use in my work. Human development theories can help professionals examining how a person’s behavior and personality improves during the lifespan (Berk, 2010). For this assignment, I chose two key theories that address human development. I will introduce and analyze Piaget’s cognitive-developmental theory and Erikson’s psychosocial theory. I will identify similarities and differences. Finally, I will discuss how these theories relate to my goals in research. Piaget’s Cognitive-Developmental Theory Jean Piaget (1896-1980) was a Swiss theorist who conducted research studies on cognitive development. Although he observed his own children, his theory is one of the key theories of human development. Piaget published several books on childhood development, psychology, moral judgment, and intelligence (Berk, 2010). Few of his major works that I will use for this assignment are: The Moral Judgment of the Child (1948), The Early Growth of Logic in the Child (1964), Biology and Knowledge (1971). Piaget’s four stages address infancy, early childhood, middle childhood, and adolescence (Mussen, 1983). Piaget believed that there is a significant connection between biological and......

Words: 1137 - Pages: 5

Premium Essay

Bf Skinner

...of individuals should be treated on an individual basis, and shouldn't be compared to that of another person. This includes how people think, act and make decisions. B.F. Skinner is one of the most famous psychologists in the field of human behavioural studies. His theories have helped in our understanding of human behaviour and thus determine humans behaviour and actions. Skinner is primarily known for the establishment of reinforcement and behavioural analysis (Brace abd Byford, 2012, p146) In order to analyse behaviour, Skinner had invented the 'skinner box' (Brace and Byford, 2012, p172) in which controlled the behaviour of a rat or pigeon. This was named operant conditioning. Skinner based his operant conditioning on the foundations of Thorndike's law of effect. Skinner believed that the more a behaviour is reinforced or encouraged, the stronger it gets, whilst behaviour that isn't reinforced, becomes weakend. The majority of Skinners operant conditioning experiments were on pigeons and rats. The pigeons and rats were placed into the skinner box. Here, skinner tested the pigeon and rats ability to perform a specific behaviour in order to recieve a reward. The reward was only ever released when the required behaviour was performed. There is however a negative aspect to this because the results Skinner collected cannot be directly applied to that of a human because they are not the same species. As well as this, the pigeon or rats feelings were not taken into......

Words: 307 - Pages: 2