B.F Skinner

Topics: Reinforcement, B. F. Skinner, Operant conditioning chamber Pages: 1 (325 words) Published: December 27, 2012
Skinner Article
Burrhus Frederic “B.F.” Skinner was an American psychologist and was the Edgar Pierce Professor of Psychology at Harvard University. Skinner was the one who invented the operant conditioning chamber or the Skinner box. Burrhus Frederic Skinner is one of the most influential psychologists in America. He has made many contributions to the world of psychology and deserves recognition. The Skinner box a device named after B.F. Skinner was a way operant conditioning could be studied. The Skinner box is a small cage with solid walls, which are empty except for a cup full of food and an activating device like a button. It allowed the subjects to interact with the environment. This was also a way to train small animals. The Skinner box was a small simple environment for the animal to learn and reinforce behavior. Operant conditioning includes punishment and reinforcement to modify the subject’s behavior. Something like “trial and error” and once the subjects learn they then will be rewarded. Along with the Skinner box B.F. Skinner also developed the theory called superstitious behavior. Skinner created a mechanism to feed pigeons at random intervals. Food was dropped into the food cup randomly and the pigeon started standing on one foot. Though this action had nothing to do with getting the food the bird still repeated this action over and over again. This was when Skinner developed his theory of superstitious behavior. It’s like wearing a shirt and when worn only good things happen, it is then deemed as a “lucky shirt”. In conclusion Skinner’s findings have been beneficial to psychology. The Skinner box a device used to test the way animals behave when put into a controlled environment. It shows cause and effect also trial and error with the result of a reward once done correctly. Also the theory of superstition and how animals just like humans think a certain action or trinket can cause “good luck”.
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