B. F. Skinner

Father of Behaviorism

Great achievements

He is regarded as the father of operant conditioning, which is changing behavior through simple means of punishment and positive reinforcement. He is a very important advocate of behaviorism.

How did his study effect psychologist as a whole?

He introduced the idea that no one had free will, everyone did things based off of the reward or the punishment they would receive for performing that specific action. B. F. Skinner's results in classical conditioning and instrumental conditioning allowed a singular idea on behaviorism which allowed for future psychologist such as, Pavlov and Thorn-dike to follow in his foot steps.

B. F. Skinner experiments

How did his research effect the average person?

B. F. Skinner had an influence on education because he found that positive reinforcement was more progressive and aided children in their learning. Also, he believed that in order for a child to learn and retain information, they have to be an engaging and eager learner, not a student who passively receives information. His steps that he suggested were the most effective in giving the child the ability to learn any task at any age are:


1. Clearly specify the action or performance the student is to learn

2. Break down the task into small achievable steps, going from simple to complex

3. Let the student perform each step, reinforcing correct actions

4. Adjust so that the student id always successful until finally the goal is reached

5.Shift to intermittent reinforcement to maintain the students performance

How was his research effected by his time period?

His research was effected by his time period because he live in a much stricter era than we live in today. He lived in an era where authority was not questioned and that is why his notion of no free will was actually considered. If he would to have had brought up that notion in today's times he would have been laughed out of the room.