Saturday, March 29, 2014

Fran Tarkenton on Football and Business: Behavioral Lessons of B.F. Skinner

I met an impressive young psychologist named Aubrey Daniels in the early 1970s. He came from the school of B.F. Skinner, a Harvard psychologist. Skinner’s ideas were at the cutting-edge, the first real scientific approach to psychology as opposed to the theoretical Freudian ideas that came before. Skinner’s most important discovery was that behavior was a function of consequences, and he was the first to quantify it. It’s not what comes before the behavior that counts, but what comes after. If you do something and receive praise or a reward, you’ll do it more. If you are punished, you’ll do it less. And, most significantly, if you do something and get no recognition either way, then that behavior would recede as well. more

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