Opening Skinner's box by Lauren Slater as a psychologist herself covers 10 great psychological experiences of the twentieth century to bring them to life by understanding how they were thought up, how they were received by other psychologists and what effects they had on the participants.
For more then a century, psychologists have desperately sought to have their disciplines accepted. Psychology requires some degree of trickery in the experimental set-up. But how much insight do we then gain into how people will behave outside the laboratory? And if the experimental method we wish to use is sufficiently destructive to prevent us using it on humans, what do we learn from studying on animals? A description of psychology experiments has drawn many criticisms. These and other details where looked at in chapter 1, where Slater goes back in time and looks at B.F. Skinner famous experiment called "the rat race". Skinner performed an experiment on rats using food levers and other instruments to condition and shape their behavior, to see if we organisms are easily programmed to obedience or we are all at our free will. Skinner believed through his experiments that we would obey the rules like computers.
Slater came across as an eccentric person who had a great courage and passion for psychology to try and solve the most controversial issues. Her love for psychology dates to her very early age where she always had a curiosity to search for answers in the open ended theories.
As part of Slater story of Stanley Milgram's famous obedience experiments, where a large proportion of people where shown to be enable to resist instructors to deliver what they thought to be lethal electric shocks to their fellow men. Another engaging chapters in the Skinner's box was the one in 1972 experiment of David Rosenhan, who recruited several participants to visit psychiatric emergency rooms with a single complaint: "I am hearing a voice. It is saying, 'Thud.'" They were to present...
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