Burrhus Frederic Skinner
Burrhus Frederic Skinner was born on March 20, 1904. Skinner became interested in psychology and attended Harvard University, where he received his PhD in 1931(Nevin, 1992). After Skinner received his PhD he continue to work at Harvard until 1936.While Skinner was at Harvard, he became an exceptional researcher and marvelous writer. Skinner published many articles that established a strong foundation for his research regarding behavioral science (Nevin, 1992).
Skinner researched and studied operant behavior by analyzing a rat and documenting his results in a book, which he published in 1938.The book was entitled, The Behavior of Organisms. This book had a major impact on Skinner’s reputation and helped to establish Skinner as a behavioral scientist. Ten years later in 1948 Skinner started a research laboratory at Harvard University for the study of operant behavior. Skinner continued teaching, and taught natural science to undergraduate students at Harvard University using the Science and Human Behavior text, which he developed (Nevin, 1992).
In 1974 Skinner retired from teaching although, Skinner continues to give lectures at professional meetings upon request. Skinner wrote each day until the day he died and published over 200 books. Despite the attempts of other psychologists, to distinguish the methods of classical and instrumental conditioning; Skinner identified the distinctive properties of operant conditioning as opposed to respondent behavior (Nevin, 1992).
Skinner's position regarding psychological theories became known as radical behaviorism. Skinner always dismissed theories, which explained an individual's behavior by appealing to events at other levels of communication (Nevin, 1992).
Early psychology and behaviorism
Behaviorism is sometimes defined as an approach, which attempts to explain an individual’s behavior without referring to the mental or cognitive process of the individual (Moore, 2011). However, this...