The Theory of Operant Conditioning
An Influential American Psychologist
- DOB: March 20, 1904
- Passed away in 1990 of Leukemia
- Grew up in Pennsylvania
- Middle class family
- Received his BA in English from Hamilton College (NY)
- Wrote articles on labor problems in NY and lived as a "bohemian"
- Received his masters in psychology in 1930 and his doctorate in 1931 from Harvard
- Taught at the University of MN
- Married Yvonne Blue and had two daughters
- Became the chairman of the psychology department at Indiana University in 1945
- Invited to teach at Harvard in 1948 where he finished out his career
- Most famous for developing the theory based on Operant Conditioning
Theory of Operant Conditioning
- Schedules of Reinforcement - Using fixed intervals and variable ratios to study behavior.
- Shaping - Reinforcement of complex behavior.
- Aversive Stimuli - The opposite of a reinforcing stimulus, something we might find unpleasant or painful.
- Behavior Modification - Extinguish an undesirable behavior (by removing the reinforcer) and replace it with a desirable behavior by reinforcement.