Bf Skinner Interview Essay

426 WordsJun 27, 20122 Pages
I would like to introduce today well-known behaviorists, B.F. Skinner. B.F. Skinner believed that we could teach or “shape” human behavior. Please enjoy the interview. JJP “Where were you born?” BFS “I was born on March 20, 1904 in Susquehanna in the hills of Pennsylvania.” JJP “What was your childhood like?” BFS “I have one younger brother and we were raised in a warm and stable.” JJP “Where did you receive your education?” BFS “I first attended Hamilton College to become a writer. At age 24 I entered Harvard University for graduate school.” JJP “What influenced you into psychology?” BFS “I was working in a book store and came upon books written by Pavlov and Watson.” JJP “Who was your mentor?” BFS “I was mentored by William Crozier the new chair for the psychology department.” JJP “What area of study interested you?” BFS “While I was at Harvard, both the Psychology and Physiology departments were encouraged to experiment. Because I enjoyed and had a talent for building things, I constructed many different apparatuses as the rats behavior changed and dictated. While doing this, I learned that contrary to what Pavlov thought I found that rats pressed the bars based on what followed when they did. I called it operant behavior.” JJP “What was you r first published book?” BFS “My first book was titled The Behavior of Organisms, published in 1938.” JJP “Can you describe your Project Pigeon?” BFS “Yes. During World War II, we had airplanes and bombs, but no guidance system. I began a project to use and train pigeons to keep pecking a target. They would peck even while falling rapidly and with warlike noises around them. The pigeons were later replaced with radar. I also learned that pigeons behave more rapidly than rats. This allowed for more rapid discoveries of the effect of new contingencies. I never worked with rats again.” JJP “When

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