B. F. Skinner

B. F. Skinner
Burrhus Frederic Skinner

Born March 20, 1904(1904-03-20)
Susquehanna, Pennsylvania, United States
Died August 18, 1990(1990-08-18) (aged 86)
Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States
Nationality American
Fields Psychology, Linguistics, Philosophy
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
Notable awards National Medal of Science (1968)

Burrhus Frederic Skinner (March 20, 1904 – August 18, 1990) was an American behaviorist, author, inventor, baseball enthusiast, social philosopher[1][2][3] and poet.[4] He was the Edgar Pierce Professor of Psychology at Harvard University from 1958 until his retirement in 1974.[5]

Skinner invented the operant conditioning chamber, innovated his own philosophy of science called radical behaviorism,[6] 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[citation needed] in interest experimentally and in applied settings.[7]

Skinner 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.[8][9] In a June, 2002 survey, Skinner was listed as the most influential psychologist of the 20th century.[10] He was a prolific author who published 21 books and 180 articles.[11][12]



The Skinners' grave at Mount Auburn Cemetery

Skinner was born in Susquehanna, Pennsylvania to Grace and William Skinner. His father was a lawyer. He became an atheist after a liberal Christian teacher tried to assuage his fear of the Hell that his grandmother described.[13] 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 also attended Harvard University after receiving 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 on August 18, 1990, and is buried in Mount Auburn Cemetery, Cambridge, Massachusetts.[14]


Radical behaviorism is the philosophy of the science of behavior. It seeks to understand behavior as a function of environmental histories of reinforcing consequences. Such a functional analysis makes it capable of producing technologies of behavior (see Applied Behavior Analysis).

Reinforcement is a central concept in Behaviorism, and were seen as a central mechanism in the shaping and control of behavior. A common misconception is that negative reinforcement is synonymous with 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 future probability of a behavior's occurrence, by the application of an aversive stimulus/event (positive punishment or punishment by contingent stimulation), removal of a desirable stimulus (negative punishment or punishment by contingent withdrawal), or the absence of a rewarding stimulus, which causes the behavior to stop (extinction).

Skinner also sought to understand the application of his theory in the broadest behavioral context as it applies to living organisms, namely natural selection.[15]


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'[16][17] (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.

Skinner designed this Air-Crib for his second child because he thought it would help parents who were awakened by their crying babies at night due to cold temperatures, and a need for essential clothing, or sheets. He thought doing so would alleviate “troublesome” environmental issues. [18]

It was one of his most controversial inventions, and was popularly mischaracterized as cruel and experimental.[19] The crib was often compared to his Operant Conditioning Chamber, crudely known as the "Skinner Box." This association with a system of experimentation and pellet rewards quashed any success. It was designed to make early childcare simpler (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 air cribs 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.[19] Air-cribs were later commercially manufactured by several companies.

A 2004 book by Lauren Slater[20] caused much controversy by mentioning the common rumors that Skinner had used his baby daughter Deborah in some of his experiments and that she had subsequently committed suicide. Slater allowed the reader to believe that Deborah had disappeared, thus doing little to quash the rumors. Deborah Skinner (now Deborah Buzan, an artist and writer living in London) then in turn wrote a vehement riposte in The Guardian.[21]

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.

Operant conditioning chamber

While at the University of Minnesota, 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[22] 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.[23]

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.[24]

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[25][26] was potentially an extremely simple and effective solution, but despite an effective demonstration it was abandoned when more conventional solutions became available. The project centered on dividing the nose cone of a missile into three compartments, and encasing a pigeon in each. Each compartment used a lens to project an image of what was in front of the missile onto a screen. The pigeons would peck toward the object, thereby directing the missile.[27]

Skinner complained "our problem was no one would take us seriously."[28] 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).[29]

Radical behaviorism

Skinner called his particular brand of behaviorism "Radical" behaviorism.[30] Unlike less austere behaviorisms, it does not accept private events such as thinking, perceptions, and unobservable emotions in a causal account of an organism's 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 person's 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.[31]

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[32] 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 "S-R psychology" which Skinner's system was most certainly not - the contingency (S) comes after the response(R) in operant conditioning.[33] was 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.[34] 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.[35] However, Skinner's functional analysis of verbal behavior has seen a resurgence of interest in applied settings.[36]

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.

In The Technology of Teaching, Skinner has a chapter on why teachers fail (pages 93–113): Essentially he says that teachers have not been given an in-depth understanding of teaching and learning. Without knowing the science underpinning teaching, teachers fall back on procedures that work poorly or not at all, such as:

  • using aversive techniques (which produce escape and avoidance and undesirable emotional effects);
  • relying on telling and explaining ("Unfortunately, a student does not learn simply when he is shown or told." p. 103);
  • failing to adapt learning tasks to the student's current level;
  • failing to provide positive reinforcement frequently enough.

Skinner suggests that any age-appropriate skill can be taught. The steps are

  1. Clearly specify the action or performance the student is to learn to do.
  2. Break down the task into small achievable steps, going from simple to complex.
  3. Let the student perform each step, reinforcing correct actions.
  4. Adjust so that the student is always successful until finally the goal is reached.
  5. Transfer to intermittent reinforcement to maintain the student's performance.

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. The limitations of Skinner's views can be seen from his argument that it is: 'a step forward' to 'abolish' the 'autonomous inner man.' (Beyond Freedom and Dignity (1971) p.215)

Skinner associated punishment with avoidance. For example, he thought a child may be forced to practice playing his instrument as a form of seemingly productive discipline. This child would then associate practicing with punishment and thus learn to hate and avoid practicing the instrument. Additionally, teachers who use educational activities to punish children could cause inclinations towards rebellious behavior such as vandalism and opposition to education. [18]

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 a fictional experimental community[37] 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.[38]

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.

The most notable schedules of reinforcement presented by Skinner were 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 impractical to use, and the reinforced behavior is prone to extinction.
  • Interval (fixed/variable) reinforcement Fixed — reinforcement followed the first response after a set duration. Variable — time which must elapse before a response produces reinforcement is not set, but varies around an average value.
  • Ratio (fixed or variable) reinforcement Fixed — a set number of responses must occur before there is reinforcement. Variable - number of responses before reinforcement is delivered differs from the last, but has an average value.

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.[39] He comprehended political control as aversive or non-aversive, with the purpose to control a population. Skinner supported 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".[2] 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,[2] as good science applied correctly would help society,[3] and allow all people to cooperate with each other peacefully.[2] Skinner described his novel as "my New Atlantis", in reference to Bacon's utopia.[40] He opposed corporal punishment in the school, and wrote a letter to the California Senate that helped lead it to a ban on spanking.[41]

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.[42]

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.[43][44]

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.[43]

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 (as opposed to 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).[45]


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, that Skinner's determinism is not in any way contradictory to traditional notions of reward and punishment, as he believed.[46]

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.[4] Chomsky's review 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[47] was endorsed by Skinner.

Chomsky also reviewed Skinner's Beyond Freedom and Dignity, using the same basic motives 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, and that Skinner had no science of behavior.[48] The fields of Relational Frame Theory and ACT Therapy are currently attempting to deal with most of these suggestions.[citation needed]

List of awards and positions

  • 1926 A.B., Hamilton University
  • 1930 M.A., Harvard University
  • 1930-1931 Thayer Fellowship
  • 1931 Ph.D., Harvard University
  • 1931-1932 Walker Fellowship
  • 1931-1933 National Research Council Fellowship
  • 1933-1936 Junior Fellowship, Harvard Society of Fellows*1936-1937 Instructor, University of Minnesota
  • 1937-1939 Assistant Professor, University of Minnesota
  • 1939-1945 Associate Professor, University of Minnesota
  • 1942 Guggenheim Fellowship (postponed until 1944-1945)
  • 1942 Howard Crosby Warren Medal, Society of Experimental Psychologists
  • 1945-1948 Professor and Chair, Indiana University
  • 1947-1948 William James Lecturer, Harvard University
  • 1948-1958 Professor, Harvard University
  • 1949-1950 President of the Midwestern Psychological Association
  • 1954-1955 President of the Eastern Psychological Association
  • 1958 Distinguished Scientific Contribution Award, American Psychological Association
  • 1958-1974 Edgar Pierce Professor of Psychology, Harvard University
  • 1964-1974 Career Award, National Institute of Mental Health
  • 1966 Edward Lee Thorndike Award, American Psychological Association
  • 1966-1967 President of the Pavlovian Society of North America
  • 1968 National Medal of Science, National Science Foundation
  • 1969 Overseas Fellow in Churchill College, Cambridge
  • 1971 Gold Medal Award, American Psychological Foundation
  • 1971 Joseph P. Kennedy, Jr., Foundation for Mental Retardation International award
  • 1972 Humanist of the Year Award, American Humanist Society
  • 1972 Creative Leadership in Education Award, New York University
  • 1972 Career Contribution Award, Massachusetts Psychological Association
  • 1974-1990 Professor of Psychology and Social Relations Emeritus, Harvard University
  • 1978 Distinguished Contributions to Educational Research Award and Development, American Educational Research Association
  • 1978 National Association for Retarded Citizens Award
  • 1985 Award for Excellence in Psychiatry, Albert Einstein School of Medicine
  • 1985 President's Award, New York Academy of Science
  • 1990 William James Fellow Award, American Psychological Society
  • 1990 Lifetime Achievement Award, American Psychology Association
  • 1991 Outstanding Member and Distinguished Professional Achievement Award, Society for Performance Improvement
  • 1997 Scholar Hall of Fame Award, Academy of Resource and Development

Honorary degrees

Skinner received honorary degrees from:


See also


  1. ^ Smith, L. D.; Woodward, W. R. (1996). B. F. Skinner and behaviorism in American culture. Bethlehem, PA: Lehigh University Press. ISBN 0934223408. 
  2. ^ a b c d Skinner, B. F. (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.
  3. ^ a b Skinner, B. F. (1972). Beyond freedom and dignity. New York: Vintage Books. ISBN 0-553-14372-7. OCLC 34263003. 
  4. ^ a b 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
  5. ^ Muskingum.edu
  6. ^ B. F. Skinner, About Behaviorism
  7. ^ See Verbal Behavior for research citations.
  8. ^ B. F. Skinner, (1938) The Behavior of Organisms.
  9. ^ C. B. Ferster & B. F. Skinner, (1957) Schedules of Reinforcement.
  10. ^ Haggbloom, Steven J.; et al., Renee; Warnick, Jason E.; Jones, Vinessa K.; Yarbrough, Gary L.; Russell, Tenea M.; Borecky, Chris M.; McGahhey, Reagan et al. (2002). "The 100 most eminent psychologists of the 20th century". Review of General Psychology 6 (2): 139–152. doi:10.1037/1089-2680.6.2.139. 
  11. ^ Lafayette.edu, accessed on 5-20-07.
  12. ^ BFSkinner.org, Smith Morris Bibliography
  13. ^ "Within a year I had gone to Miss Graves to tell her that I no longer believed in God. 'I know,' she said, 'I have been through that myself.' But her strategy misfired: I never went through it." B.F. Skinner, pp. 387-413, E.G. Boring and G. Lindzey's A History of Psychology in Autobiography (Vol. 5), New York: Appleton Century-Crofts, 1967.).
  14. ^ Bjork, D.W. (1993). B.F. Skinner, A Life. New York: Basic Books
  15. ^ Skinner, B.F (31 July 1981). "Selection by Consequences". Science 213 (4507): 501–504. doi:10.1126/science.7244649. PMID 7244649. http://www.psychology.uiowa.edu/Classes/31174/Documents/Selection%20by%20Consequences.pdf. Retrieved 14 August 2010 
  16. ^ A photograph of one is in an archive here
  17. ^ Picture taken from the LHJ article
  18. ^ a b Holland, J. (1992). B.F Skinner. Pittsburgh: American Psychologist.
  19. ^ a b Snopes.com "One Man and a Baby Box", accessed on 12-29-07.
  20. ^ Slater, L. (2004) Opening Skinner's Box: Great Psychological Experiments of the Twentieth Century, London, Bloomsbury
  21. ^ "I was not a lab rat" (Guardian)
  22. ^ 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.
  23. ^ Skinner B. F. (1987). "A thinking aid". Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis 20 (4): 379–380. doi:10.1901/jaba.1987.20-379. PMC 1286077. PMID 16795707. http://www.pubmedcentral.nih.gov/articlerender.fcgi?tool=pmcentrez&artid=1286077. 
  24. ^ "Programmed Instruction and Task Analysis". College of Education, University of Houston. http://faculty.coe.uh.edu/smcneil/cuin6373/idhistory/1950.html. 
  25. ^ 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.
  26. ^ Described throughout Skinner, B. F. (1979). The shaping of a behaviorist: Part two of an autobiography. New York: Knopf.
  27. ^ "Nose Cone, Pigeon-Guided Missile". National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution. http://historywired.si.edu/object.cfm?ID=353. Retrieved 2008-06-10. 
  28. ^ "Skinner's Utopia: Panacea, or Path to Hell?". TIME Magazine. September 20, 1971. http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,909994-5,00.html. 
  29. ^ Richard Dawkins. "Design for a Faith-Based Missile". Free Inquiry magazine 22 (1). http://www.secularhumanism.org/library/fi/dawkins_22_1.html. 
  30. ^ About Behaviorism Ch. 1 Causes of Behaviour § 3 Radical Behaviorism B. F. Skinner 1974 ISBN 0-394-71618-3
  31. ^ ibid. pp. 18-20 of the paperback edition which had the redacted typo s/it/is/.
  32. ^ 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 upon this table."
  33. ^ A. N. Chomsky, (1957) "A Review of BF Skinner's Verbal Behavior." in the preface, 2nd paragraph
  34. ^ Richelle, M. (1993). B. F. Skinner: A reappraisal. Hillsdale: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates
  35. ^ Michael J. (1984). "Verbal behavior". Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior 42 (3): 363–376. doi:10.1901/jeab.1984.42-363. PMC 1348108. PMID 16812395. http://www.pubmedcentral.nih.gov/articlerender.fcgi?tool=pmcentrez&artid=1348108. 
  36. ^ The Analysis of Verbal Behavior (Journal)
  37. ^ B. F. Skinner, (1968). "The Design of Experimental Communities", International Encyclopedia of the Social Sciences (Volume 16). New York: Macmillan, 1968, pages 271-275.
  38. ^ 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.
  39. ^ see Beyond Freedom and Dignity, 1974 for example
  40. ^ A matter of Consequences, p. 412.
  41. ^ Asimov, Nanette (1996-01-30). "Spanking Debate Hits Assembly". SFGate (San Francisco Chronicle). http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/1996/01/30/MN71634.DTL&hw=spanking+debate&sn=009&sc=334. Retrieved 2008-03-02. 
  42. ^ ECON 252, Lecture 8 by Professor Robert Schiller at Yale University
  43. ^ a b Skinner, B. F. "'Superstition' in the Pigeon," Journal of Experimental Psychology #38, 1947.
  44. ^ Classics in the History of Psychology — Skinner (1948)
  45. ^ Timberlake & Lucas, (1985) "JEAB"
  46. ^ Staddon, J. (1995) On responsibility and punishment. The Atlantic Monthly, Feb., 88-94. Staddon, J. (1999) On responsibility in science and law. Social Philosophy and Policy, 16, 146-174. Reprinted in Responsibility. E. F. Paul, F. D. Miller, & J. Paul (eds.), 1999. Cambridge University Press, pp. 146-174.
  47. ^ On Chomsky's Review of Skinner’s Verbal Behavior
  48. ^ A. N. Chomsky, (1972) "The Case Against B. F. Skinner."

Further reading

  • 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 ENVMED.rochester.edu
  • Pauly, Philip Joseph (1987). Controlling Life: Jacques Loeb and the Engineering Ideal in Biology. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-504244-1. http://books.google.com/?id=-8xZJjp-bYoC&printsec=frontcover&dq=%22Jacques+Loeb+%22&q. Retrieved 14 August 2010 
  • 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
  • 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
  • Wolfgang, C.H. and Glickman, Carl D. (1986) Solving Discipline Problems Allyn and Bacon, Inc

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