B.f. skinner

B.F. Skinner

  • Born

    Born as Burrhus Frederic Skinner. He was born in Susquehanna, Pennsylvania, to Grace and William Skinner. His father was a lawyer. He became an atheist after a Christian teacher tried to assuage his fear of the hell that his grandmother described.
  • Graduated Hamilton College NY

    Graduated Hamilton College NY
    He attended Hamilton College in New York with the intention of becoming a writer. He found himself at a social disadvantage at Hamilton College because of his intellectual attitude. Even as an atheist he was still required to attend daily mass. Skinner graduated in 1926 with a Bachelor in Arts.
  • Skinner Box and Operant conditioning

    Skinner Box and Operant conditioning
    While he was at Harvard, a fellow student, Fred Keller, convinced Skinner that he could make an experimental science from the study of behavior. This led Skinner to invent his prototype for the Skinner Box and to join Keller in the creation of other tools for small experiments. An operant conditioning chamber (skinner box) is a laboratory apparatus used to study animal behavior.
  • PhD From Harvard

    PhD From Harvard
    Skinner received a PhD from Harvard in 1931, and remained there as a researcher until 1936. He then taught at the University of Minnesota at Minneapolis and later at Indiana University, where he was chair of the psychology department from 1946–1947, before returning to Harvard as a tenured professor in 1948. He remained at Harvard for the rest of his life. In 1973, Skinner was one of the signers of the Humanist Manifesto II.
  • Married to Yvonne Blue

    Married to Yvonne Blue
    In 1936, Skinner married Yvonne (Eve) Blue. The couple had two daughters, Julie (m. Vargas) and Deborah (m. Buzan)
  • The Behavior of Organisms

    The Behavior of Organisms
    His studies on operant behavior and operant conditioning appear in his first book. His invention, the cumulative recorder, was also mentioned.
  • The Baby Tender

    The Baby Tender
    The air crib is an easily cleaned, temperature- and humidity-controlled enclosure intended to replace the standard infant crib. Skinner invented the device to help his wife cope with the day-to-day tasks of child rearing. It was designed to make early childcare simpler, while allowing the baby to be more mobile and comfortable, and less prone to cry.
  • Pigeon Project

    Pigeon Project
    While Word War II was in full swing, Skinner trained pigeons to keep pecking a target that would hold a missile onto a target. This project was discontinued, however, he discovered that pigeons behaved more rapidly than rats, allowing more rapid discoveries.
  • Walden Two

    Walden Two
    This book is a fictional account of a behaviorist created utopia in which carefree young parents stroll off to work or school while their little ones enjoy all of the comforts of community - run, behaviorist approved daycare.
  • Inducted into American Philosophical Society

    Inducted into American Philosophical Society
  • Science and Human Behavior

    Science and Human Behavior
    The psychology classic—a detailed study of scientific theories of human nature and the possible ways in which human behavior can be predicted and controlled—from one of the most influential behaviorists of the twentieth century
  • Verbal Behavior

    Verbal Behavior
    The book Verbal Behavior is almost entirely theoretical, involving little experimental research in the work itself.[3][4][5] It was an outgrowth of a series of lectures first presented at the University of Minnesota in the early 1940s and developed further in his summer lectures at Columbia .
  • The Teaching Machine

    The Teaching Machine
    The machine is a rectangular wooden box with a hinged metal lid with windows. Various paper discs fit inside, with questions and answers written along radii of the discs. One question at a time appears in the window nearer the center. The student writes an answer on a paper tape to the right and advances the mechanism. This reveals the correct answer but covers his answer so that it may not be changed. It underlies techniques still used in instruction for the office, the home and the school.
  • Beyond Freedom and Dignity

    Beyond Freedom and Dignity
    Skinner argues that entrenched belief in free will and the moral autonomy of the individual (which Skinner referred to as "dignity") hinders the prospect of using scientific methods to modify behavior for the purpose of building a happier and better-organized society. Beyond Freedom and Dignity may be summarized as an attempt to promote Skinner's philosophy of science, the technology of human behavior, his conception of determinism, and what Skinner calls "cultural engineering".
  • Humanist of the Year

    Humanist of the Year
    The Humanist of the Year award was established in 1953 to recognize a person of national or international reputation who, through the application of humanist values, has made a significant contribution to the improvement of the human condition.
  • Died

    Age 86