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BF Skinner

SkinnerOn March 20, 1904, a man known as B.F. Skinner was born in Susquehanna, Pennsylvania (Encarta 95). His real name was Burrhus Fredric, but he signed his name as B.F. since he was at the tender age of nine (World Authors 764). Skinner accomplished many things in his lifetime. He wrote several books, all about psychology. B.F. Skinner was the first child of William A. and Grace Burrhus Skinner (World Authors 764). His father was a successful lawyer who wrote a legal standard textbook (World Authors 764). Because of this, B.F. Skinner grew up wealthy, but he still held a job as a shoe clerk (Markle 3). During high school, Skinner was involved in many activities, including writing for the local paper, playing the piano and saxophone, and inventing things (Markle 3). After graduating high school, B.F. Skinner went to Hamilton College (World Authors 764). In 1926, Skinner graduated from Hamilton where he majored in English language and literature (Academic American 343). From there, he went on to Harvard University, where he received a Ph.D. degree in 1931(Encarta 95). B.F. stayed there until 1936 doing laboratory experiments (Academic American 343). He then joined the University of Minnesota in 1937 (Academic American 343). It was during this time that Skinner wrote his first book The Behavior of Organisms (Encarta 95). The book was quoted to be a fairly comprehensive study of operant conditioning (Academic American 343). In this book, the theory of B.F. Skinner is based upon the idea that learning is a function of change in overt behavior (Markle 59). Changes in behavior are the result of an individuals response to events (stimuli) that occur in the environment (Markle 60). A response produces a consequence such as defining a word, hitting a ball, or solving a math problem (Markle 60). When a particular Stimulus-Response (S-R) pattern is reinforced (rewarded), the individual is conditioned to respond (Markle 60). ...

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