University of Phoenix
BEH/225 Skinner and his Contributions to Psychology
Burrhus Fredric Skinner is an American psychologist and behaviorist. He has made many contributions to psychology and most are still used today. They are used to treat some phobias and addictive behaviors in humans. He also thought of radical behaviorism which is his own philosophy of science. Skinner believes that the best way to understand behavior is to look at the causes of an action and its consequences. He believes that behaviors are depending on what happens after the response this is what Skinner calls Operant conditioning. Skinner invented the Operant conditioning chamber which is known as the Skinner box. The Skinner box was invented to study animals such as rats. This box contained a lever and food or water which they will receive as a reward if they press the lever. Skinner also used the box to study superstitious behaviors by the response of animals. Burrhus Fredric Skinner also had ideas on reinforcement. Skinner had ideas that positive reinforcement provides a consequent that is rewarding. It can modify behavior longer then punishment because it is rewarding. Negative reinforcement strengthens behavior because it stops or removes an unpleasant experience. Punishment is the opposite of reinforcement because it weakens or eliminates the response. Punishment can work by directly applying an unpleasant stimulus or removing a rewarding stimulus. His contributions to psychology have made an impact on the world. His theories on positive and negative reinforcement as well as punishment are used in schools, workplaces and many other aspects of life itself. Unlike any other psychologist Burrhus Fredric Skinner had his own way of thinking.