B.F. Skinner

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Burrhus Frederic Skinner

Born Template:Birth date
Susquehanna, Pennsylvania
Died Template:Death date and age
Cambridge, Massachusetts
Nationality American
Fields Psychologist
Institutions University of Minnesota
Indiana University
Harvard University
Alma mater Hamilton College
Harvard University
Known for Behavior analysis
Operant conditioning
Radical behaviorism
Verbal Behavior
Operant conditioning chamber
Influences Charles Darwin
Ivan Pavlov
Ernst Mach
Jacques Loeb
Edward Thorndike
William James
Jean-Jacques Rousseau

Burrhus Frederic Skinner (March 20, 1904 – August 18, 1990) was an American psychologist, author, inventor, advocate for social reform,[1][2] and poet.[3] He was the Edgar Pierce Professor of Psychology at Harvard University from 1958 until his retirement in 1974.[4] He came up with the operant conditioning chamber, innovated his own philosophy of science called Radical Behaviorism,[5] and founded his own school of experimental research psychology—the experimental analysis of behavior. His analysis of human behavior culminated in his work Verbal Behavior, which has recently seen enormous increase in interest experimentally and in applied settings.[6] He discovered and advanced the rate of response as a dependent variable in psychological research. He invented the cumulative recorder to measure rate of responding as part of his highly influential work on schedules of reinforcement.[7][8] In a recent survey, Skinner was listed as the most influential psychologist of the 20th century.[9] He was a prolific author who published 21 books and 180 articles.[10][11]


Skinner was born in Susquehanna, Pennsylvania to Grace and William Skinner. His father was a lawyer. His brother Edward, two and a half years his junior, died at age sixteen of a cerebral hemorrhage.

He attended Hamilton College in New York with the intention of becoming a writer. While attending, he joined Lambda Chi Alpha Fraternity. He wrote for the school paper, but as an atheist, he was critical of the religious school he attended. He received his B.A. in English literature in 1926. After graduation, he spent a year at his parents' home in Scranton attempting to become a writer of fiction. He soon became disillusioned with his literary skills and concluded that he had little world experience and no strong personal perspective from which to write.

Skinner received a PhD from Harvard in 1931, and remained there as a researcher until 1936. He then taught at the University of Minnesota at Minneapolis and later at Indiana University, where he was chair of the psychology department from 1946–1947, before returning to Harvard as a tenured professor in 1948. He remained at Harvard for the rest of his career.

In 1936 Skinner married Yvonne Blue. The couple had two daughters, Julie (m. Vargas) and Deborah (m. Buzan). He died of leukemia in 1990 and is buried in Mount Auburn Cemetery, Cambridge, Massachusetts.


Radical behaviorism seeks to understand behavior as a function of environmental histories of reinforcing consequences.

Reinforcement processes were emphasized by Skinner, and were seen as primary in the shaping of behavior. A common misconception is that negative reinforcement is some form of punishment. This misconception is rather pervasive, and is commonly found in even scholarly accounts of Skinner and his contributions. To be clear, while positive reinforcement is the strengthening of behavior by the application of some event (e.g., praise after some behavior is performed), negative reinforcement is the strengthening of behavior by the removal or avoidance of some aversive event (e.g., opening and raising an umbrella over your head on a rainy day is reinforced by the cessation of rain falling on you). Both types of reinforcement strengthen behavior, or increase the probability of a behavior reoccurring; the difference is in whether the reinforcing event is something applied (positive reinforcement) or something removed or avoided (negative reinforcement). Punishment and extinction have the effect of weakening behavior, or decreasing the probability of a behavior reoccurring, by the application of an aversive event (punishment) or the removal of a rewarding event (extinction).

Graduate School and Discovery

At the age of 24, Skinner enrolled in the Psychology Department of Harvard University. Still rebellious and impatient with what he considered unintelligent ideas, Skinner found a mentor equally caustic and hard-driving. William Crozier was the chair of a new department of Physiology. Crozier fervently adhered to a program of studying the behaviour of "the animal as a whole" without appealing, as the psychologists did, to processes going on inside. That exactly matched Skinner's goal of relating behaviour to experimental conditions. The student was encouraged to experiment. Each department, Psychology, and Physiology, assumed the other was supervising the young student, but the fact was he was "doing exactly as I pleased". With his enthusiasm and talent for building new equipment, Skinner constructed apparatus after apparatus as his rats' behavior suggested changes. After a dozen pieces of apparatus and some lucky accidents (described in his A Case History in Scientific Method), Skinner invented the cumulative recorder, a mechanical device that recorded every response as an upward movement of a horizontally moving line. The slope showed rate of responding. This recorder revealed the impact of the contingencies over responding. Skinner discovered that the rate with which the rat pressed the bar depended not on any preceding stimulus (as Watson and Pavlov had insisted), but on what followed the bar presses. This was new indeed. Unlike the reflexes that Pavlov had studied, this kind of behaviour operated on the environment and was controlled by its effects. Skinner named it operant behaviour. The process of arranging the contingencies of reinforcement responsible for producing this new kind of behaviour he called operant conditioning. A fellowship allowed Skinner to spend his next five years investigating not only the effect of following consequences and the schedules on which they were delivered, but also how prior stimuli gained control over behaviour-consequence relationships with which they were paired. These studies eventually appeared in his first book, The Behaviour of Organisms (1938).[12]


Air crib

In an effort to help his wife cope with the day-to-day tasks of child rearing, Skinner – a consummate inventor – thought he might be able to improve upon the standard crib. He invented the 'air-crib' to meet this challenge. An 'air-crib' [13][14](also known as a 'baby tender' or humorously as an 'heir conditioner') is an easily-cleaned, temperature and humidity-controlled box Skinner designed to assist in the raising of babies.

It was one of his most controversial inventions, and was popularly mischaracterized as cruel and experimental.[15] It was designed to make the early childcare more simple (by greatly reducing laundry, diaper rash, cradle cap, etc.), while encouraging the baby to be more confident, mobile, comfortable, healthy and therefore less prone to cry. (Babies sleep and will sometimes play in aircribs but it's misleading to say they are 'raised' in them. Apart from newborns, most of a baby's waking hours will be spent out of the box.) Reportedly it had some success in these goals.[15] Air-cribs were later commercially manufactured by several companies. Air-cribs of some fashion are still used to this day, and publications continue to dispel myths about, and tout the progressive advantages of Skinner's invention.

A 2004 book by Lauren Slater [16] caused much controversy by mentioning claims that Skinner had used his baby daughter Deborah in some of his experiments and that she had subsequently committed suicide. The book never refutes such claims and indeed Slater lets the reader believe Deborah has gone into hiding, thus supporting the theory that she might perhaps have been damaged by the experience in the Aircrib. Deborah Skinner (now aka Deborah Buzan) wrote a vehement riposte in the Guardian.[17]

Cumulative recorder

The cumulative recorder is an instrument used to automatically record behavior graphically. Initially, its graphing mechanism has consisted of a rotating drum of paper equipped with a marking needle. The needle would start at the bottom of the page and the drum would turn the roll of paper horizontally. Each response would result in the marking needle moving vertically along the paper one tick. This makes it possible for the rate of response to be calculated by finding the slope of the graph at a given point. For example, a regular rate of response would cause the needle to move vertically at a regular rate, resulting in a straight diagonal line rising towards the right. An accelerating or decelerating rate of response would lead to a curve. The cumulative recorder provided a powerful analytical tool for studying schedules of reinforcement.

Operant conditioning chamber

While at Harvard, B. F. Skinner invented the operant conditioning chamber to measure responses of organisms (most often, rats and pigeons) and their orderly interactions with the environment. This device was an example of his lifelong ability to invent useful devices, which included whimsical devices in his childhood [18] to the cumulative recorder to measure the rate of response of organisms in an operant chamber. Even in old age, Skinner invented a Thinking Aid to assist in writing.[19]

Teaching machine

The teaching machine, a mechanical invention to automate the task of programmed instruction

The teaching machine was a mechanical device whose purpose was to administer a curriculum of programmed instruction. It housed a list of questions, and a mechanism through which the learner could respond to each question. Upon delivering a correct answer, the learner would be rewarded.[20]

Pigeon Guided Missile

The US Navy required a weapon effective against the German Bismarck class battleships. Although missile and TV technology existed, the size of the primitive guidance systems available rendered any weapon ineffective. Project Pigeon[21][22] was potentially an extremely simple and effective solution, but despite an effective demonstration it was abandoned as soon as more conventional solutions were available. The project centered on dividing the nose cone of a missile into three compartments, and encasing a pigeon in each. The compartments for each had a video image of what was in front of them, and the pigeons would peck toward the object, thereby directing the missile.[23] Skinner complained "our problem was no one would take us seriously."[24] The point is perhaps best explained in terms of human psychology (i.e., few people would trust a pigeon to guide a missile no matter how reliable it proved).[25]

Radical behaviorism

Skinner's particular brand of behaviorism he called "Radical" behaviorism[26] which, unlike less austere behaviorisms, does not accept private events such as thinking, personal perceptions and emotions of an organism in an observers causal account of its behavior:

The position can be stated as follows: what is felt or introspectively observed is not some nonphysical world of consciousness, mind, or mental life but the observer's own body. This does not mean, as I shall show later, that introspection is a kind of psychological research, nor does it mean (and this is the heart of the argument) that what are felt or introspectively observed are the causes of the behavior. An organism behaves as it does because of its current structure, but most of this is out of reach of introspection. At the moment we must content ourselves, as the methodological behaviorist insists, with a persons genetic and environment histories. What are introspectively observed are certain collateral products of those histories.
In this way we repair the major damage wrought by mentalism. When what a person does [is] attributed to what is going on inside him, investigation is brought to an end. Why explain the explanation? For twenty five hundred years people have been preoccupied with feelings and mental life, but only recently has any interest been shown in a more precise analysis of the role of the environment. Ignorance of that role lead in the first place to mental fictions, and it has been perpetuated by the explanatory practices to which they gave rise.[27]

It can be seen by the above that this methodological stance is a reaction and predates the current level of advancement, in which mental structures can be observed in operation via technologies such as functional MRI.

Verbal Behavior

Challenged by Alfred North Whitehead during a casual discussion while at Harvard to provide an account of a randomly provided piece of verbal behavior[28] Skinner set about attempting to extend his then-new functional, inductive, approach to the complexity of human verbal behavior. Developed over two decades, his work appeared as the culmination of the William James lectures in the book, Verbal Behavior. Although Noam Chomsky was highly critical of Verbal Behavior, he conceded that it was the "most careful and thoroughgoing presentation of such speculations", confusing Skinner's stance with "S-R psychology" [29] as a reason for giving it "a review." Verbal Behavior had an uncharacteristically slow reception, partly as a result of Chomsky's review, paired with Skinner's neglect to address or rebut any of Chomsky's condemnations.[30] Skinner's peers may have been slow to adopt and consider the conventions within Verbal Behavior due to its lack of experimental evidence—unlike the empirical density that marked Skinner's previous work.[31] However, Skinner's functional analysis of verbal behavior has seen a resurgence of interest in applied settings.

Influence on education

Skinner influenced education as well as psychology. He was quoted as saying "Teachers must learn how to teach ... they need only to be taught more effective ways of teaching." Skinner asserted that positive reinforcement is more effective at changing and establishing behavior than punishment, with obvious implications for the then widespread practice of rote learning and punitive discipline in education. Skinner also suggests that the main thing people learn from being punished is how to avoid punishment.

Skinner says that there are five main obstacles to learning:

  1. People have a fear of failure.
  2. The task is not broken down into small enough steps.
  3. There is a lack of directions.
  4. There is also a lack of clarity in the directions.
  5. Positive reinforcement is lacking.

Skinner suggests that any age-appropriate skill can be taught using five principles to remedy the above problems:

  1. Give the learner immediate feedback.
  2. Break down the task into small steps.
  3. Repeat the directions as many times as possible.
  4. Work from the most simple to the most complex tasks.
  5. Give positive reinforcement.

Skinner's views on education are extensively presented in his book The Technology of Teaching. It is also reflected in Fred S. Keller's Personalized System of Instruction and Ogden R. Lindsley's Precision Teaching.

Walden Two and Beyond Freedom and Dignity

Skinner is popularly known mainly for his books Walden Two and Beyond Freedom and Dignity. The former describes a visit to an imaginary utopian commune in 1940s United States, where the productivity and happiness of the citizens is far in advance of that in the outside world because of their practice of scientific social planning and use of operant conditioning in the raising of children.

Walden Two, like Thoreau's Walden, champions a lifestyle that does not support war or foster competition and social strife. It encourages a lifestyle of minimal consumption, rich social relationships, personal happiness, satisfying work and leisure.[32]

In Beyond Freedom and Dignity, Skinner suggests that a technology of behavior could help to make a better society. We would, however, have to accept that an autonomous agent is not the driving force of our actions. Skinner offers alternatives to punishment and challenges his readers to use science and modern technology to construct a better society.

Schedules of reinforcement

Part of Skinner's analysis of behavior involved not only the power of a single instance of reinforcement, but the effects of particular schedules of reinforcement over time.

Skinner's types of schedules of reinforcement involved: interval (fixed or variable) and ratio (fixed or variable).

  • Continuous reinforcement — constant delivery of reinforcement for an action; every time a specific action was performed the subject instantly and always received a reinforcement. This method is very hard to carry out, and the reinforced behavior is prone to extinction.
  • Interval (fixed/variable) reinforcement (Fixed) — reinforcement is set for a certain time duration. (Variable) — times between reinforcements are not set, and often differ.
  • Ratio (fixed or variable) reinforcement (Fixed) — deals with a set amount of work needed to be completed before there is reinforcement. (Variable) — amount of work needed for the reinforcement differs from the last.

Political views

Skinner's political writings emphasized his hopes that an effective and humane science of behavioral control – a technology of human behavior – could help problems unsolved by earlier approaches or aggravated by advances in technology such as the atomic bomb. One of Skinner's stated goals was to prevent humanity from destroying itself.[33] He comprehended political control as aversive or non-aversive, with the purpose to control a population. Skinner opposed the use of positive reinforcement as a means of coercion, citing Jean-Jacques Rousseau's novel Emile: or, On Education as an example of freedom literature that "did not fear the power of positive reinforcement".[1] Skinner's book, Walden Two, presents a vision of a decentralized, localized society, which applies a practical, scientific approach and futuristically advanced behavioral expertise to peacefully deal with social problems. Skinner's utopia, like every other utopia or dystopia, is both a thought experiment and a rhetorical piece. In his book, Skinner answers the problem that exists in many utopian novels – "What is the Good Life?" In Walden Two, the answer is a life of friendship, health, art, a healthy balance between work and leisure, a minimum of unpleasantness, and a feeling that one has made worthwhile contributions to one's society. This was to be achieved through behavioral technology, which could offer alternatives to coercion,[1] as good science applied correctly would help society,[2] and allow all people to cooperate with each other peacefully.[1] Skinner described his novel as "my New Atlantis", in reference to Bacon's utopia.[34] He opposed corporal punishment in the school, and wrote a letter to the California Senate that helped lead it to a ban on spanking.[35]

When Milton's Satan falls from heaven, he ends in hell. And what does he say to reassure himself? 'Here, at least, we shall be free.' And that, I think, is the fate of the old-fashioned liberal. He's going to be free, but he's going to find himself in hell.
B. F. Skinner ,  from William F. Buckley Jr, On the Firing Line, p. 87.

Superstition in the pigeon

One of Skinner's experiments examined the formation of superstition in one of his favorite experimental animals, the pigeon. Skinner placed a series of hungry pigeons in a cage attached to an automatic mechanism that delivered food to the pigeon "at regular intervals with no reference whatsoever to the bird's behavior." He discovered that the pigeons associated the delivery of the food with whatever chance actions they had been performing as it was delivered, and that they subsequently continued to perform these same actions.[36]

One bird was conditioned to turn counter-clockwise about the cage, making two or three turns between reinforcements. Another repeatedly thrust its head into one of the upper corners of the cage. A third developed a 'tossing' response, as if placing its head beneath an invisible bar and lifting it repeatedly. Two birds developed a pendulum motion of the head and body, in which the head was extended forward and swung from right to left with a sharp movement followed by a somewhat slower return.[37][38]

Skinner suggested that the pigeons behaved as if they were influencing the automatic mechanism with their "rituals" and that this experiment shed light on human behavior:

The experiment might be said to demonstrate a sort of superstition. The bird behaves as if there were a causal relation between its behavior and the presentation of food, although such a relation is lacking. There are many analogies in human behavior. Rituals for changing one's fortune at cards are good examples. A few accidental connections between a ritual and favorable consequences suffice to set up and maintain the behavior in spite of many unreinforced instances. The bowler who has released a ball down the alley but continues to behave as if she were controlling it by twisting and turning her arm and shoulder is another case in point. These behaviors have, of course, no real effect upon one's luck or upon a ball half way down an alley, just as in the present case the food would appear as often if the pigeon did nothing—or, more strictly speaking, did something else.[37]

Modern behavioral psychologists have disputed Skinner's "superstition" explanation for the behaviors he recorded. Subsequent research (e.g. Staddon and Simmelhag, 1971), while finding similar behavior, failed to find support for Skinner's "adventitious reinforcement" explanation for it. By looking at the timing of different behaviors within the interval, Staddon and Simmelhag were able to distinguish two classes of behavior: the terminal response, which occurred in anticipation of food, and interim responses, that occurred earlier in the interfood interval and were rarely contiguous with food. Terminal responses seem to reflect classical (rather than operant) conditioning, rather than adventitious reinforcement, guided by a process like that observed in 1968 by Brown and Jenkins in their "autoshaping" procedures. The causation of interim activities (such as the schedule-induced polydipsia seen in a similar situation with rats) also cannot be traced to adventitious reinforcement and its details are still obscure (Staddon, 1977).




J.E.R. Staddon

As understood by Skinner, ascribing dignity to individuals involves giving them credit for their actions. To say "Skinner is brilliant" means that Skinner is an originating force. If Skinner's determinist theory is right, he is merely the focus of his environment. He is not an originating force and he had no choice in saying the things he said or doing the things he did. Skinner's environment and genetics both allowed and compelled him to write his book. Similarly, the environment and genetic potentials of the advocates of freedom and dignity cause them to resist the reality that their own activities are deterministically grounded. J. E. R. Staddon (The New Behaviorism, 2001) has argued the compatibilist position,

Noam Chomsky

Perhaps Skinner's best known critic, Noam Chomsky, published a review of Skinner's Verbal Behavior two years after it was published. The review (1959) became better known than the book itself.[3] It has been credited with launching the cognitive movement in psychology and other disciplines. Skinner, who rarely responded directly to critics, never formally replied to Chomsky's critique. Many years later, Kenneth MacCorquodale's reply[42] was endorsed by Skinner.

Chomsky also reviewed Skinner's Beyond Freedom and Dignity, utilizing the same basic motifs as his Verbal Behavior review. Among Chomsky's criticisms were that Skinner's laboratory work could not be extended to humans, that when it was extended to humans it represented 'scientistic' behavior attempting to emulate science but which was not scientific, that Skinner was not a scientist because he rejected the hypothetico-deductive model of theory testing, that Skinner had no science of behavior, and that Skinner's works were highly conducive to justifying or advancing totalitarianism.[43]

Anthony Burgess

In his novel, A Clockwork Orange, Anthony Burgess criticizes Skinner's theories as being immoral, claiming that moral choice is a necessary part of one's humanity. The novel's protagonist, Alex, believes he can be released from prison early by participating in an Ivan Pavlov/B.F. Skinner inspired rehabilitation program referred to as the "Ludovico technique," which conditions criminals to become nauseous from the mere thought of violence. Before participating in the program the prison chaplain warns against it, declaring that an action is only good if derived from good intentions. Thus conditioning in any form is criticized for being dehumanizing and oppressive.

Written works

  • The Behavior of Organisms: An Experimental Analysis, 1938. ISBN 1-58390-007-1, ISBN 0-87411-487-X.
  • Science and Human Behavior, 1953. ISBN 0-02-929040-6.
  • Schedules of Reinforcement, with C. B. Ferster, 1957. ISBN 0-13-792309-0.
  • Verbal Behavior, 1957. ISBN 1-58390-021-7.
  • The Analysis of Behavior: A Program for Self Instruction, with James G. Holland, 1961. This self-instruction book is no longer in print, but the B.F. Skinner Foundation web site has an interactive version. ISBN 0-07-029565-4.
  • The Technology of Teaching, 1968. New York: Appleton-Century-Crofts Library of Congress Card Number 68-12340 E 81290
  • Contingencies of Reinforcement: A Theoretical Analysis, 1969. ISBN 0-390-81280-3.
  • Beyond Freedom and Dignity, 1971. ISBN 0-394-42555-3.
  • About Behaviorism, 1974. ISBN 0-394-49201-3, ISBN 0-394-71618-3.
  • Particulars of My Life: Part One of an Autobiography, 1976. ISBN 0-394-40071-2.
  • Reflections on Behaviorism and Society, 1978. ISBN 0-13-770057-1.
  • The Shaping of a Behaviorist: Part Two of an Autobiography, 1979. ISBN 0-394-50581-6.
  • Notebooks, edited by Robert Epstein, 1980. ISBN 0-13-624106-9.
  • Skinner for the Classroom, edited by R. Epstein, 1982. ISBN 0-87822-261-8.
  • Enjoy Old Age: A Program of Self-Management, with M. E. Vaughan, 1983.
  • A Matter of Consequences: Part Three of an Autobiography, 1983. ISBN 0-394-53226-0, ISBN 0-8147-7845-3.
  • Upon Further Reflection, 1987. ISBN 0-13-938986-5.
  • Recent Issues in the Analysis of Behavior, 1989. ISBN 0-675-20674-X.
  • Cumulative Record: A Selection of Papers, 1959, 1961, 1972 and 1999 as Cumulative Record: Definitive Edition. This book includes a reprint of Skinner's October 1945 Ladies' Home Journal article, "Baby in a Box," Skinner's original, personal account of the much-misrepresented "Baby in a box" device. ISBN 0-87411-969-3 (paperback)

Articles by B. F. Skinner

See also

Authors on Skinner

  • Bjork, D. W. (1993) B.F. Skinner: a life
  • Dews, P. B. (Ed.)(1970) Festschrift For B. F. Skinner.New York : Appleton-Century-Crofts.
  • Evans, R. I. (1968) B. F. Skinner: the man and his ideas
  • Nye, Robert D. (1979) What Is B. F. Skinner Really Saying?. Englewood Cliffs, N.J. : Prentice-Hall.
  • Sagal, P. T. (1981) Skinner's Philosophy. Washington, D.C. : University Press of America.
  • Skinner, B.F. (1976) Particulars of my life: Part 1 of an Autobiography
  • Skinner, B.F. (1979) The Shaping of a Behaviorist: Part 2 of an Autobiography
  • Skinner, B.F. (1983) A Matter of Consequences: Part 3 of an Autobiography
  • Smith, D.L. (2002). On Prediction and Control. B.F. Skinner and the Technological Ideal of Science. In W.E. Pickren & D.A. Dewsbury, (Eds.), Evolving Perspectives on the History of Psychology, Washington, D.C.: American Psychological Association.
  • Wiener, D. N. (1996) B.F. Skinner: benign anarchist



  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 B. F. Skinner, (1948) Walden Two. The science of human behavior is used to eliminate poverty, sexual oppression, government as we know it, create a lifestyle without that such as war.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Skinner, B. F. (1972). Beyond freedom and dignity. New York: Vintage Books. ISBN 0-553-14372-7. OCLC 34263003. 
  3. 3.0 3.1 B. F. Skinner, (1970) "On 'Having' A Poem" talks about the poem, its publication, and contains the poem and a reply to it as well. Real Audio mp3 Ogg
  4. http://www.muskingum.edu/~psych/psycweb/history/skinner.htm
  5. B. F. Skinner, About Behaviorism
  6. see Verbal Behavior for research citations.
  7. B. F. Skinner, (1938) The Behavior of Organisms.
  8. C. B. Ferster & B. F. Skinner, (1957) Schedules of Reinforcement.
  9. Review of General Psychology, June, 2002, pp. 139-152.
  10. http://ww2.lafayette.edu/~allanr/biblio.html, accessed on 5-20-07.
  11. another bibliography
  12. http://www.bfskinner.org/BFSkinner/AboutSkinner.html
  13. A photograph of one is in an archive here
  14. Picture taken from the LHJ article
  15. 15.0 15.1 Snopes.com "One Man and a Baby Box", accessed on 12-29-07.
  16. Slater, L. (2004) Opening Skinner's Box; Great Psychological Experiments of the Twentieth Century, London, Bloomsbury
  17. "I was not a lab rat" (Guardian)
  18. B. F. Skinner, (1984) Particulars of My Life. Devices included a potato shooting machine and a perpetual motion machine, as well as a device to separate ripe from unripe berries.
  19. B. F. Skinner, (1987) "A Thinking Aid," Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 20, 379–380. [1]
  20. "Programmed Instruction and Task Analysis". College of Education, University of Houston. Archived from the original. Error: You must specify the date the archive was made using the |archivedate= parameter. http://www.coe.uh.edu/courses/cuin6373/idhistory/skinner.html. 
  21. Skinner, B. F. (1960). Pigeons in a pelican. American Psychologist, 15, 28-37. Reprinted in: Skinner, B. F. (1972). Cumulative record (3rd ed.). New York: Appleton-Century-Crofts,pp. 574-591.
  22. Described throughout Skinner, B. F. (1979). The shaping of a behaviorist: Part two of an autobiography. New York: Knopf.
  23. "Nose Cone, Pigeon-Guided Missile". National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution. Archived from the original. Error: You must specify the date the archive was made using the |archivedate= parameter. http://historywired.si.edu/object.cfm?ID=353. Retrieved on 2008-06-10. 
  24. "Skinner's Utopia: Panacea, or Path to Hell?". TIME Magazine. September 20, 1971. Archived from the original. Error: You must specify the date the archive was made using the |archivedate= parameter. http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,909994-5,00.html. 
  25. Template:Cite journal
  26. About Behaviorism Ch. 1 Causes of Behaviour § 3 Radical Behaviorism B. F. Skinner 1974 [ISBN 0-394-71618-3]
  27. ibid. pp. 18-20 of the paperback edition which had the redacted typo s/it/is/.
  28. B. F. Skinner, (1957) Verbal Behavior. The account in the appendix is that he asked Skinner to explain why he said "No black scorpion is falling on this table."
  29. A. N. Chomsky, (1957) "A Review of BF Skinner's Verbal Behavior." in the preface, 2nd paragraph
  30. Richelle, M. (1993). B.F. Skinner: A reappraisal. Hillsdale: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates
  31. J. Michael, (1984) "Verbal Behavior," Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior, 42, 363–376.
  32. Ramsey, Richard David, Morning Star: The Values-Communication of Skinner's Walden Two, Ph.D. dissertation, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, NY, December 1979, available from University Microfilms, Ann Arbor, MI. Attempts to analyze Walden Two, Beyond Freedom and Dignity, and other Skinner works in the context of Skinner's life; lists over 500 sources.
  33. see Beyond Freedom and Dignity, 1974 for example
  34. A matter of Consequences, p. 412.
  35. Asimov, Nanette (1996-01-30). "Spanking Debate Hits Assembly". SFGate (San Francisco Chronicle). Archived from the original. Error: You must specify the date the archive was made using the |archivedate= parameter. http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/1996/01/30/MN71634.DTL&hw=spanking+debate&sn=009&sc=334. Retrieved on 2008-03-02. 
  36. ECON 252, Lecture 8 by Professor Robert Schiller at Yale University
  37. 37.0 37.1 Skinner, B.F. "'Superstition' in the Pigeon," Journal of Experimental Psychology #38, 1947.
  38. Classics in the History of Psychology — Skinner (1948)
  39. Timberlake & Lucas, (1985) "JEAB"
  40. "Recipients of the APF Gold Medal Awards". Archived from the original. Error: You must specify the date the archive was made using the |archivedate= parameter. http://www.apa.org/apf/goldmedal.html. Retrieved on 2007-12-28. 
  41. "Humanist of the Year". Archived from the original. Error: You must specify the date the archive was made using the |archivedate= parameter. http://www.americanhumanist.org/about/humanists-year.html. Retrieved on 2007-12-28. 
  42. On Chomsky's Review of Skinner’s Verbal Behavior
  43. A. N. Chomsky, (1972) "The Case Against B. F. Skinner."



  • Chiesa, M. (2004).Radical Behaviorism: The Philosophy and the Science ISBN
  • Epstein, R. (1997) Skinner as self-manager. Journal of applied behavior analysis. 30, 545-569. Retrieved from the World Wide Web on: June 2, 2005 from http://seab.envmed.rochester.edu/jaba/articles/1997/jaba-30-03-0545.pdf
  • Pauly, P. J. {1987} Controlling Life: Jacques Loeb and the Engineering Ideal in Biology, OUP, New York ISBN


Further reading

  • Sundberg, M.L. (2008) The VB-MAPP:The Verbal Behavior Milestones Assessment and Placement Program
  • Basil-Curzon, L. (2004) Teaching in Further Education : A outline of Principles and Practice
  • Hardin, C.J. (2004) Effective Classroom Management
  • Kaufhold, J. A. (2002) The Psychology of Learning and the Art of Teaching

External links