Opening Skinner's Box

Great Psychological Experiments of the Twentieth Century

By: Lauren Slater

In this book, Slater focuses on 10 experiments that caused breakthroughs in the field of Psychology. Some of the experiments include Milgram's shock experiment with obedience and Leon Festinger's experiment with cognitive dissonance. Slater also raises the question of "Was Skinner's child really raised in a box?" and ends with a chapter on Antonio Moniz and psycho surgery. Slater narrates these stories and integrates personal experience which enhances how we visualize them.

Lauren Slater

Lauren Slater was born on March 21, 1963. She is a psychologist and has written seven books, including Prozac Diary. She has received awards such as a 2004 National Endowment for the Arts Award. She often contributes to The New York Times Magazine and Elle Magazine. She resides in Harvard, Massachusetts.

Text-to-World Connection

While these are obviously real events, all of the experiments simply remind me how determined and curious we are as a human race. As a whole, we are wishing to advance and explore the world's mysteries; which includes the complexity of the human mind and behavior. There are always individuals who strive to find answers and this book portrays some of those people like Skinner and Alexander. This book explains exactly what happened in the real world because it deals with stuff such as addiction and obedience. However, these events are different than the real world because most were in an experiment environment.


Lauren Slater. Retrieved April 27, 2015, from

Slater, L. (2004). Opening Skinner’s Box. New York, NY: W. W. Norton & Company.

Peri Lockhart 3rd Block