B.F. Skinner

Addyson Barr


Skinner was a behaviorist who believed in operant conditioning, which is when the action is either repeated or stopped by the consequences that results from their action. An example is the Skinner Box, when the rat pushed the lever when the food came out it would repeat the behavior to get more food(positive reinforcement), but when they pushed the lever and an electric shock came out they stopped the behavior(negative reinforcement), because they did not want to get shocked.

General Information

  • Born on March 20, 1904 in Susquehanna Pennsylvania.
  • Built things as a child often.
  • Attended Hamilton College and became a writer, then later studied at Harvard for psychology.
  • Married Yvonne Blue and moved to Minnesota and received his first teaching job.
  • He died on August 18, 1990.

Pros and Cons

The Theory Today

The theory is still used today in the classroom.

Teachers will encourage good behavior by rewarding the students in the classroom by saying good job, smiley faces on papers, and giving prizes. They also use the negative reinforcement as well because they will give them a punishment such as a think sheet, time out, or staying in from recess. The theory is still applied today in classrooms across America.