kidzsearch.com > wiki  

B. F. Skinner



KidzSearch Safe Wikipedia for Kids.
Jump to: navigation, search
Burrhus Frederic Skinner
Born(1904-03-20)March 20, 1904
Susquehanna, Pennsylvania
DiedAugust 18, 1990(1990-08-18) (aged 86)
Cambridge, Massachusetts
NationalityAmerican
FieldsPsychologist
InstitutionsUniversity of Minnesota
Indiana University
Harvard University
Alma materHamilton College
Harvard University
Known forBehavior analysis
Operant conditioning
Radical behaviorism
Verbal Behavior
Operant conditioning chamber
InfluencesCharles Darwin
Ivan Pavlov
Ernst Mach
Jacques Loeb

Burrhus Frederic Skinner (March 20, 1904 – August 18, 1990) was a leading American psychologist and author.

Skinner was the leading behaviorist in psychology; he built on the work of John B. Watson, and added the idea of operant conditioning. These two American psychologists paid no attention to mental states and 'thinking' (terms they thought were unscientific), but dealt only with visible behaviors. Skinner's work had effects on education (programmed learning) and on behavior therapy for various psychological problems. He was the Edgar Pierce Professor of Psychology at Harvard University from 1958 until his retirement in 1974, and then Emeritus Professor until 1990.[1]

Skinner was also an social philosopher who wanted to change society, and wrote a eutopian novel,[2] in which the science of human behavior is used to eliminate poverty, sexual oppression, government as we know it, and create a lifestyle without war.[3] He wrote poetry,[4] and three volumes of autobiography.

Life

Skinner was born in Susquehanna, Pennsylvania to Grace and William Skinner.[5] His father was a lawyer. Skinner became an atheist after a liberal Christian teacher tried to assuage his fear of the Hell that his grandmother described.

"Within a year I had gone to Miss Graves to tell her that I no longer believed in God. 'I know,' she said, 'I have been through that myself.' But her strategy misfired: I never went through it".[6]

Skinner attended Harvard University after receiving his B.A. in English literature in 1926. After graduation, he spent a year at his parents' home in Scranton attempting to become a writer of fiction. He tried to become a writer in Greenwich Village. He soon became disillusioned with his literary skills and concluded that he had little world experience and no strong personal perspective from which to write. His encounter with John B. Watson's Behaviorism led him into graduate study in psychology and to the development of his own operant behaviorism.

Skinner received a PhD from Harvard in 1931, and remained there as a researcher until 1936. He then taught at the University of Minnesota at Minneapolis and later at Indiana University, where he was chair of the psychology department from 1946–1947. He returned to Harvard in 1948, and stayed there for the rest of his career.

In 1936, Skinner married Yvonne Blue. The couple had two daughters, Julie (m. Vargas) and Deborah (m. Buzan). He died of leukemia on August 18, 1990, and is buried in Mount Auburn Cemetery, Cambridge, Massachusetts.[7]

Awards

Written Works

  • 1938. The behavior of organisms: an experimental analysis.

    Template-specific style sheet:

    ISBN 1-58390-007-1,

    Template-specific style sheet:

    ISBN 0-87411-487-X
  • 1948. Walden Two.

    Template-specific style sheet:

    ISBN 0-02-411510-X
  • 1953. Science and human behavior.

    Template-specific style sheet:

    ISBN 0-02-929040-6
  • 1957. Schedules of reinforcement, with C.B. Ferster.

    Template-specific style sheet:

    ISBN 0-13-792309-0
  • 1957. Verbal behavior.

    Template-specific style sheet:

    ISBN 1-58390-021-7
  • 1961. The analysis of behavior: a program for self instruction, with James G. Holland. This self-instruction book is no longer in print, but the B.F. Skinner Foundation web site has an interactive version.

    Template-specific style sheet:

    ISBN 0-07-029565-4
  • 1968. The technology of teaching. New York: Appleton-Century-Croft.
  • 1969. Contingencies of reinforcement: a theoretical analysis.

    Template-specific style sheet:

    ISBN 0-390-81280-3
  • 1971. Beyond freedom and dignity.

    Template-specific style sheet:

    ISBN 0-394-42555-3
  • 1974. About behaviorism.

    Template-specific style sheet:

    ISBN 0-394-49201-3;

    Template-specific style sheet:

    ISBN 0-394-71618-3
  • 1978. Reflections on behaviorism and society.

    Template-specific style sheet:

    ISBN 0-13-770057-1
  • 1980. Notebooks, edited by Robert Epstein.

    Template-specific style sheet:

    ISBN 0-13-624106-9
  • 1982. Skinner for the Classroom, edited by R. Epstein.

    Template-specific style sheet:

    ISBN 0-87822-261-8
  • 1983. Enjoy old age: a program of self-management. (with M.E. Vaughan)
  • 1987. Upon further reflection.

    Template-specific style sheet:

    ISBN 0-13-938986-5
  • 1989. Recent issues in the analysis of behavior.

    Template-specific style sheet:

    ISBN 0-675-20674-X
  • 1959, 1961, 1972 and 1999. Cumulative Record: a selection of papers, as Cumulative Record: definitive edition. This book includes a reprint of Skinner's October 1945 Ladies' Home Journal article, Baby in a Box, Skinner's original, personal account of the much-misrepresented 'Baby in a box' device.

    Template-specific style sheet:

    ISBN 0-87411-969-3 (paperback)

Autobiography

  • Skinner B.F. 1976. Particulars of my life: Part 1 of an autobiography.

    Template-specific style sheet:

    ISBN 0-394-40071-2
  • Skinner B.F. 1979. The shaping of a behaviorist: Part 2 of an autobiography.

    Template-specific style sheet:

    ISBN 0-394-50581-6
  • Skinner B.F. 1983. A matter of consequences: Part 3 of an autobiography.

    Template-specific style sheet:

    ISBN 0-394-53226-0,

    Template-specific style sheet:

    ISBN 0-8147-7845-3

Articles by B.F. Skinner

References

  1. Burrhus Frederick Skinner (1904–1990) Swenson, Christa 1999
  2. B.F. Skinner 1948. Walden Two.
  3. Skinner B.F. (1972). Beyond freedom and dignity. New York: Vintage Books. ISBN 0-553-14372-7 . OCLC 34263003 . 
  4. B.F. Skinner 1970. On 'having' a poem talks about the poem, its publication, and contains the poem and a reply to it as well. Real Audio mp3 Ogg
  5. Ferguson, Kyle E. & William O'Donahue 2001. The Psychology of BF Skinner. Sage Publications. p16
  6. B.F. Skinner 1967. In E.G. Boring and G. Lindzey (eds) A History of Psychology in Autobiography. vol 5, 387-413, New York: Appleton Century-Crofts.
  7. Bjork D.W. 1993. B.F. Skinner, a life. New York: Basic Books.
  8. "Recipients of the APF Gold Medal Awards". http://www.apa.org/apf/goldmedal.html. Retrieved 2007-12-28. 
  9. "Humanist of the Year". http://www.americanhumanist.org/about/humanists-year.html. Retrieved 2007-12-28. 

Other websites