Skinnker's Behavior Analysis

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Journal on Sinner’s Behavioral Analysis Part 2

Liberty University


This paper shall explore Skinner and his work on Behavioral Analysis. His work in this field has been influential in the world of Psychology and in this paper; aspects like his early research will be explored, to give insight on how Skinner came to his early ground breaking findings. Not only will his work will be looked at in the context of his contemporaries but the possible effects of Skinner’s work on today’s world shall also be taken into consideration. This will include how Skinner’s operant paradigm was the groundwork for research into infant behavior and development, how is work in verbal behavior may correlate with the modern relational frame theory, and Skinner’s contributions to behaviorism and the world. Journal on Sinner’s Behavioral Analysis Part 2

Jacob L. Gewirtz and Martha Pehlez-Nogueras team up to write an article for the American Psychologist, an article by the name of “B. F. Skinner's Legacy to Human Infant Behavior and Development.” In this article, the two authors aim to depict Skinner’s contributions to research in Infant’s behavior as well as their development. The two connect Skinner’s work in behavioral analysis to others’ work in human infant behavior and development, and then attempt to explain why Skinner’s research has so much impact on the field of human infant behavior and development.

The article begins with the small introductory paragraph, stating that Skinner’s legacy to the field of human infant behavior and development is due to “largely the practicality, the efficiency, and the comparative advantage of using the operant-learning paradigm” (Pehlez-Nogueras, 1992). The actual article begins with acknowledging Skinner’s contributions to the field of psychology, specifically his contribution “to delineate operationally the three-term contingency” (Pehlez-Nogueras, 1992). The authors credit Skinner with “facilitating the analysis of infant learning and development” (Pehlez-Nogueras, 1992).

Following this paragraph of acknowledgement, the authors begin to delve into the concept of reinforcement and then reinforcement as it applies to infant behavior. It is here that, Skinner’s work is described in relation to this field. The article then proceeds to discussion about misconceptions about reinforcement, before the authors switch gears to the concept of human development. After that, the authors describe, in detail, the behavior-analytic approach to infant learning and development, and then follow up with a section about Skinner’s legacy in this field, again in more detail. Here is where the author’s highlight the significance of Skinner’s operant paradigms; evident in the first paragraph of that section, which states “B. F. Skinner's operant paradigm has provided the basis of a significant portion of the methodology used in infant research from the late 1950s to the present” (Pehlez-Nogueras, 1992). The article wraps up in the normal fashion with a conclusion and the references. The Holmes article for the Behavior Analyst, “Relational Frame Theory and Skinner's Verbal Behavior: A Possible Synthesis,” attempts throughout the article, to make a proposal of synthesizing Skinner’s work with verbal behavior, with the more modern relational frame theory.

The article’s first paragraph clearly states its proposal, “Our aim here is simply to suggest one way in which two apparently disparate approaches to the study of human language, within behavior analysis, might be combined at a purely conceptual level” (Barnes-Holmes, 2000). The authors also make it clear that they will not be going into deep details about Skinner’s work on verbal behavior, or relational frame theory. Following this brief introductory paragraph, the authors dive right in to their rationale behind their decision to want to synthesize these two different methods. A significant portion of the...
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