By: Yadiel, Jared, Ashley
B.F Skinner was born on March 20, 1904. He desribes his childhood as " warm and stable. " He enjoyed building and inventing things, a skill he would use in his own psychological experiments. He got a B.A in English literature in 1926 from Hamilton College and spent some time as a struggling writer before he discovered the writings of Watson and Pavolv. Inspired by this he decided to get out of his career as a novelist and entered the psychology graduate program at Harvard.
In 1945 he moved to Bloomington, Indiana and became Psychology Department Chair In 1948, he joined the psychology department at Harvard University where he remained for the rest of his life. He became one of the leaders of behaviorism and his work contributed to experimental psychology. He also invented the 'Skinner box', and his theory on Operant Conditioning.
Operant conditioning is a technical term for learning behaviors through either positive or negative reinforcement. All decisions and situations in life have consequences, and one learns from either being rewarded for good choices or being punished in some way by bad choices. This could be a reward from a teacher for a good paper or wrecking a car because one drove drunk. These rewards are known as reinforcers, as they increase the chances that one will repeat the behavior because something good happened.