Wednesday, March 20, 2013

B.F. Skinner, Behavioral Scientist Who Invented 'Skinner Box,' Remembered By His Daughter

Today is the birthday of B.F. Skinner. The celebrated and sometimes controversial American behavioral scientist, who was born in Susquehanna, Penn. on March 20, 1904 and spent much of his career as a psychology professor at Harvard University, would have turned 104. Skinner, who died in 1990, is best remembered for his radical ideas about animal and human behavior. A story on the PBS website described him in this way: Skinner expressed no interest in understanding the human psyche... He sought only to determine how behavior is caused by external forces. He believed everything we do and are is shaped by our experience of punishment and reward. He believed that the 'mind' (as opposed to the brain) and other such subjective phenomena were simply matters of language; they didn't really exist. But Skinner wasn't interested only in theorizing about behavior. more

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