A Study Of B.F. Skinner And Behaviorism


B.F. Skinner has been one of the most notable psychologists in the 20th century to talk about behaviorism and the effects of rewards and punishments in a controlled environment. His studies include operant behavior and developmental psychology, as well as, his study of observable behavior of human beings. Reinforcement and observation has been one of the most controversial issues involving Skinner. The process of learning is the basis of Skinner's work. Through this he has been able to keep the enduring qualities of past psychologists and mentors, as Ivan P. Pavlov and John B. Watson, also known for reinforcement and behaviorism. In this paper the topics of reinforcement, ...

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Pavlov, he studied with animal learning and functions of the nervous system. He received his Ph.D. in behavioral psychology at Harvard in 1931. In 1936, he then worked as part of the faculty at the University of Minnesota. A few years later in 1939 to 1945, during World War II, he designed the "baby box" or better known to psychologist as the "Skinner box". It was a controlled environmental chamber for infants and he was even disturbed enough to allow his daughter Deborah to spend the first couple of years of her life in it. He has studied in the realm of psychology involving "programmed instruction", which involves the "principles of learning determined in the laboratory which are applied to classroom teaching" (Weyant, 1988, p. 496). However, he is most known for his study of behaviorism and observational psychology of human beings.
He has written several books, but the one that deals most with his theories on a planned society, in which behavior is of the utmost importance, ...

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to press the lever for food" (Weyant, 1988, p. 163).
Consequences are then split into two groups, reinforcement or rewards and punishment. Reinforcement (reward) is the consequence that increases the frequency of a behavior that precedes it and punishment is the frequency that decreases it. The person and the situation determine whether a consequence is reinforcing or punishing. Positive and Negative are the two basic reinforcement strategies for increasing the frequency of behavior. "With positive reinforcement, the behavior increases because it is followed by the presentation of a reward" (Burger, 1997, p. 397). For example if a student gets an A after studying for a test he ...

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PAPER DETAILS
Added: 12/6/2004 11:06:25 PM
Category: Science & Nature
Type: Premium Paper
Words: 2037
Pages: 8

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