Skinner believed in Behavioristic theories

Topics: Psychology, Reinforcement, Sigmund Freud Pages: 2 (378 words) Published: February 27, 2005
B.F. Skinner

Skinner believed in Behavioristic theories. When studying behaviorist theories you investigate the role of learning in the development of personality. The psychologist study conditions and situations that affect the learning of behavior. Skinner defines personality in terms of behavior.

B.F. Skinner was born March 20, 1904, in the small Pennsylvania town of Susquehanna. His father was a lawyer, and his mother a strong and intelligent housewife. His childhood was old-fashioned and hard-working. He wanted to be a writer and did try, sending off poetry and short stories. When he graduated, he built a study in his parents' attic to concentrate, but it just wasn't working for him. At Harvard he got his masters in psychology in 1930 and his doctorate in 1931, and stayed there to do research until 1936. He was perhaps the most celebrated psychologist since Sigmund Freud.

His first theory was of reinforcement. When a behavior is reinforced, or rewarded the chances of that happening again are likely. He is saying by reinforcement if the person knows they will get rewarded for it they will continue to do it. Skinner noted that the learning process should be divided into "a very large number of very small steps and reinforcement must be contingent upon the accomplishment of each step." Skinner also stated that by making the steps of learning small, the frequency of reinforcement can be increased and the frequency of being wrong is reduced.

Another theory was that of punishment. He says in this way he does not approve. Skinner says that punishing a child for something will make him not do it again and that is good in some cases, but what if your parents are abusive. He says that the theory of rewarding is the way to go and punishment is not strengthening behavior, it is lessening the likelihood of that behavior to happen again.

I think his theory is correct in some ways. In my opinion this is the best one, but I do believe in punishment also. In...
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