B. F. Skinner Influence

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B.F. Skinner, America’s Most Influential Behavioral Scientist To begin with, it is important to mention that this paper focuses on B.F. Skinner and his famous theory on behavior analysis. B.F. (Burrhus Frederic) Skinner was born on March 20th, 1904 in Pennsylvania, in a small town called Susquehanna (Bjork, 1993). Evidently, his parents were Grace and William Skinner. His father was a lawyer. His mother was a typist, however after marriage, she became a housewife and stay at home mother of B.F. and Edward who was two and a half years younger. His brother Edward died at age sixteen of a cerebral hemorrhage. B.F. Skinner described his childhood in Susquehanna as stable and warm. At that time, he enjoyed constructing and inventing various things.…show more content…
Skinner went to New York Hamilton College, where he studied as Administration in English literature specialist. B.F. Skinner was involved in writing various school papers. After college, he spent much time struggling to write about his fictional ideas. Later, he became very disappointed by his writing skills and concluded that he possessed little experience of the real world and hence he had no inspiration and material on what to write. After this conclusion, he started discovering the writings by John Watson and Ivan Pavlov (Bjork, 1993). These writings made him to obtain a good basis of his research and brought him an understanding of the natural things and behaviorism. Furthermore, during his life, B.F. Skinner was also inspired by the works of Edward Thorndike, who studied learning in animals using a specific puzzle box to propose the theory, which is known as the Law of…show more content…
Thus, he coined the term “operant conditioning”. According to his opinion, it means roughly changing of behavior strategy by the use of reinforcement given after the desired response (Skinner, 1948). A close look at his works indicates that B.F. Skinner identified three main types of responses or operant, which can follow behavior. Firstly, it is neutral operants, which are responses from the surrounding environment that neither decrease nor increase the probability of a behavior strategy being repeated. Secondly, it is reinforcers operants. These responses from the environment increase the probability of a repeating behavior. Reinforces could be either positive or negative. Finally, Skinner described punishers operants. These responses from the environment decrease the likelihood of a repeating behavior (Skinner, 1976). Obviously, punishment weakens behavior. B.F. Skinner’s Operant Conditioning theory plays a big role in the understanding of the impact of reinforcers and punishers on the human’s
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