You are on page 1of 10

B.F.

Skinner
1904-1990

“Education is what survives when what has been learnt has been forgotten.”
- B.F. Skinner

PA  Died of Leukemia on August 18. Skinner? Burrhus Frederic Skinner “Radical Behaviorist”  Born on March 20. 1904 is Susquehanna. . 1990 Believed that behaviors are factors that are influenced by reinforcement and rewards.F.Who is B. and that people can be controlled by systematically being reinforced.

Education and Profession  Attended Hamilton College in New York  with the intent to be a writer  Received his B.  Received his Ph. . in English Literature from Harvard  Wanted to be writer of fiction.D.A. in Psychology from Harvard  Was interested in Watson’s Behaviorism     Remained at Harvard for 5 years as a Researcher Taught at the University of Minnesota at Minneapolis Chair of the Psychology Department at Indiana University Returned to Harvard in 1958 as a tenured professor. but quickly realized he had little world experience . where he stayed for the remainder of his life.

. behaviors can be shaped.  Skinner states that everything we do is somehow shaped by the system of rewards and punishments that we experience.  Belief that through Operant Conditioning. The idea was that behaviors that are reinforced will be repeated.For What is Skinner Known? Operant Conditioning  Focusing on the cause of an action and its response  Theory was based on the work on Thorndike’s Law of Effect  Introduction of the term Reinforcement as the strengthening of behaviors. while behaviors that are not reinforced will not continue.

How did Skinner Test Operant Conditioning? Skinner Box .

 Ratio Schedule – based on the ratio of response to reinforcement  Fixed Ratio – reinforcement is given after a certain number of responses have been made  Variable Ratio – reinforcement is made based on a particular average number of responses . as long as the appropriate response was made  Variable Intervals – when behavior is reinforced and rewards are given based on an average time that has expired since the previous reinforcement.  Interval Schedule – based around time intervals between reinforcements.How did the Skinner Box Work? Rats were kept at 3/4 their normal weight so they would always be hungry.  Fixed Interval – reinforcements were presented at fixed time periods. The rats quickly learned that they would be rewarded with food if they hit the lever. They would then be put in the box and as they moved around would accidentally hit a lever that was placed on the side of the box. Schedule of Reinforcement –  Continuous Reinforcement – gave constant reward every time a specific action was performed. Upon hitting the lever. a pellet of food would be distributed.

 With a rat in the Skinner box.  The consequence of the rat receiving food in the Skinner box was a positive reinforcement  Negative Reinforcement – the removal of an adverse stimulus that the subject finds undesirable. unpleasant electric current was introduced.  Punishment can work by either applying an unpleasant stimulus or removing a rewarding stimulus. if the lever was hit. Then a light was presented prior to the electric current being introduced. the current would be shut off. The rats quickly learned to hit the lever upon seeing the light to keep the electric current from being switched on.  Punishment – designed to weaken or eliminate a response.Terms to Know…  Positive Reinforcement – strengthens behavior by giving a consequence that an individual finds rewarding. .

Operant Conditioning in the Big Bang Theory Operant Conditioning .YouTube .

Break tasks down into small.How can Operant Conditioning be applied in the classroom?  Reinforce positive. Repeat directions as often as possible. Give positive reinforcement! . Work from the most simple task to the most complex. easy to follow steps. desirable behavior rather than punish for undesirable behavior  Skinner believes that any age-appropriate task can be taught using five principles:      Give students immediate feedback.

F.org/wgbh/aso/databank/entries/bhskin.). . from http://psychology. Retrieved March 5. 2013. (n. Retrieved February 12. 2013 from http://en. Skinner.d.html  McLeod.).F.pbs._F. K. Retrieved March 5. Skinner – Operant Conditioning.html  Wikipedia (n. (n. Skinner Biography (1904-1990).org/operant-conditioning. People And Discoveries.F.). Retrieved March 5. B. 2013 from http://www.Work Cited  Cherry. (2011). Seventh Edition. Simply Psychology. Skinner.d. S.wikipedia.htm  A Science Odyssey. Boston._Skinner  Ormrod.simplypsychology.d.org/wiki/B. J. B. (2007).com/od/profilesofmajorthinkers/p/bio_skinner. 2013 from http://www. B.about. MA: Pearson. Educational Psychology: Developing Learners.