biography
[B.F. Skinner, behaviorism]
Beyond Freedom and Dignity

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B.F. Skinner and
Beyond Freedom and Dignity


  Burrhus Frederic Skinner was born on March 20 1904 in Susquehanna, a small town in Pennsylvania, where his father was a lawyer. He originally hoped to pursue a career as a writer and to that end followed a degree course in English at a college in New York State.

  In the event, however, this intended career failed to take off and he returned to college life at Harvard University where he graduated in Psychology being awarded a master's degree in 1930 and a PhD in 1931 and becoming involved in further research until 1936 at which time he took up a teaching post at the University of Minnesota. Later academic appointments were taken up at Indiana University and then in 1948, by invitation, at Harvard University.

  At the time of his death in 1990 Skinner had become a most notable figure with a reputation, in the field of Psychology, only equalled or surpassed by a very few others.

behavioral psychology - behaviorism


  B.F. Skinner became the leading United States proponent of behavioral psychology. Under "operant conditioning" theorisings associated with behaviorism it was held that organisms would operate in their environment, and whilst so operating would receive resultant stimuli. Such consequential stimuli would tend to variously encourage or discourage the organism from operating in a similar way in the future.

  Although Skinner's researches were usually conducted with laboratory rats he did not see a particular barrier to extrapolating on the results of these researches and in deeming the results as being applicable to human beings. His approach to behaviorism saw human behavior as also being largely explicable in terms of physiological responses to external stimuli.

  Among his important works are Behavior of Organisms (1938), Walden Two (1961), and Beyond Freedom and Dignity (1971). In Beyond Freedom and Dignity Skinner controversially advocated mass conditioning as a means of social control.


 
Introductory quotations
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Jean Piaget
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William Sheldon
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Carl Gustav Jung
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B.F. Skinner
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Evolutionary Psychology
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B.F. Skinner
Beyond Freedom and Dignity