Commentary On Opening Skinner's Box By Lauren Slater

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“Opening Skinner’s Box” is a book set up differently than I’ve ever read. Lauren Slater narrates a series of compelling experiments in the form of stories in a given chapter. Each chapter follows a different innovative thinker or scientist while Slater provides her own take and response to the experiment. Each experimenter thought differently than anyone else during their time and often performed dangerous and innovative experiments to get their psychiatric analysis. Slater starts off by talking about the title of her book and psychologist B.F Skinner. Skinner studied the effects of rats and how they can be trained with rewards and reinforcements. Skinner designed an experiment using rats that would be rewarded with one pellet of food if the lever …show more content…

One of the disadvantages is that I never had a little sister or brother. My older brother and his wife recently gave birth and now my niece is 6 months old. Needless to say, I am always around a baby now for the first time in my life. Living with my brother and his family, I have seen the struggle they go through with their daughter at night time. Slater describes a similar scenario with her daughter and how her daughter would always wake up crying and screaming almost every night. Slater tells her husband she wants to use Skinnerian principles to break her daughter’s habits (19). The idea is to slow down the response time to go and pick her daughter up while also reducing the amount of time their daughter is held. Slater uses an example of only picking her up for three minutes the 1st time and only for two minutes the 2nd time. Without even knowing anything about Skinner, my brother and his wife used a similar method when dealing with their daughter. In both cases, the babies started to sleep better throughout the night and broke their habits of waking up every night. Skinner’s methods are being put to use by people that don’t even know who Skinner

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