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Burrhus Frederic Skinner

Burrhus Frederic Skinner was born on March 20, 1904. His parents were the typical lawyer and housewife. As Skinner went off to college, he received his Bachelors Art Degree in English from Hamilton College. He didn’t fit in very well there and decided to write for the school paper. By doing so, he came to the conclusion that his ultimate goal in life would be a writer. He sent off many examples of his poetry and short stories to newspaper articles, which landed him in Greenwich Village in New York City. “After some traveling there, he decided to go back to school, this time at Harvard. He got his masters in psychology in 1930 and his doctorate in 1931, and stayed there to do research until 1936.” (C. George Boeree, 1998) That same year, Skinner moved to the University of Minnesota and taught there. He met his wife, Yvonne Blue. Together they had two daughters; the second daughter became famous as the first infant in Skinner’s inventions. This invention was a combination crib/playpen with glass sides and air conditioning; some referred to it as a baby in an aquarium. In 1945, Indiana University welcomed the new chairman of the psychology department, Burrhus Skinner. Three years later, he accepted his invitation to Harvard where he stayed the rest of his life. During his stay in Harvard, he wrote many psychology books, including Walden II and Beyond Freedom and Dignity. Skinner had many theories, though his entire system was based on operant conditioning. During this “operating”, the organism encounters a reinforcing stimulus. This stimulus has the effect of increasing the operant – the behavior occurring just before the reinforcer. “The behavior is followed by a consequence, and the nature of the consequence modifies the organisms tendency to repeat the behavior in the future.” (C. George Boeree, 1998) Skinner is very famous for his “Skinner box”. He kept a rat inside of this box that had a bar on...

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Burrhus Frederic Skinner. (1969, December 31). In DirectEssays.com. Retrieved 22:38, October 31, 2014, from http://www.megaessays.com/viewpaper/22914.html