B.F. Skinner

psychologist,behaviorist,author,inventor,social philosopher

B.F. Skinner

Basic info:

Birth Place: Pennsylvania (March 20, 1904)

Education: Earned B.A. in English literature (1926) (Hamilton College) He struggled to become a novelist and abandoned the career path to enter the pshycology degree at Harvard University

Wife: Yvonne Blue (1936) (had 2 daughters together-Julie and Deborah)

Death: August 18, 1990

The "Baby Tender"

Skinner created a heated crib enclosed in plexiglass. This was to sooth the baby and keep the baby in a safe area that they could not fall out of. This crib was Skinner's response to his wife's request for a safer crib for their children. The "Baby Tender" got a bad response from the public after the "Ladies Home Journal" printed an article called "Baby in a Box".

The Pigeon Experiment

One of Skinners experiments which studied "superstitions" involved pigeons. He placed a series of hungry pigeons in a cage attached to an automatic mechanism that delivered food to the pigeons at regular intervals in no reference to the birds behavior whatsoever. Skinner believed that the birds influenced the feeder with their "rituals". This experiment shed light on human behaviors.

Reinforcement Methods

Skinner did a lot of research on continuous reinforcement and rewards being given for desired behaviors. He discovered that that method was impractical and inefficient. Although Interval-reinforcement, which is reinforcement on a schedule showed steady change.

Constributions to Psychology

In 2002 he was named as the most influential 20th century psychologist.

He has published more than 200 articles and 20 books.