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Burrhus Frederic Skinner and the "Skinner box".

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Introduction

B.F Skinner Burrhus Frederic Skinner was born on March 20th 1904 in a small town in Pennsylvania. His father was a layer and his mother was a strong and intelligent housewife. His upbringing was old fashioned and hard working. Skinner was active and out going as a boy who loved the outdoors and building things. His life was not without its tragedies, in particular his brother who died at the age of sixteen. Skinner received his BA in English from Hamilton College, which was in upstate New York. At Hamilton College, Skinner did not fit in well. He didn't enjoy the parties or football games, instead he wrote for the school paper. He also had to attend daily Chapel, which the school requested. ...read more.

Middle

This is Skinner got his masters in psychology (1930), and his doctorate (1931). He stayed at Harvard to do research until (1936). He moved to Minneapolis to teach at a university in Minnesota. There he met and soon married Yvonne Blue. Together they had two children (daughters). The second daughter became famous by being the first infant to be raised in on of Skinners inventions "The Air Crib". This was a combination crib and playpen with glass sides and air conditioning. Most people thought it looked too much like keeping a bay in an aquarium. In 1945, he became the chairman in a psychology department at a university in Indian. The Skinner box Skinner invented this now famous "Skinner box" this he found was a way to investigate instrumental behaviour. ...read more.

Conclusion

So Skinner had to make his own and reduce the number of Pellets he used during his studies. Even though the rats had reduced amounts of pellets they kept up the same behaviour. This is how Skinner discovered "schedules of reinforcement. Skinner then decided to try a fixed material schedule and used timing, for example: if the rat presses the bar at least once during a certain amount of time (say 20 seconds), he will receive a pellet. Skinner noticed that the rats started to pace themselves and then speed up when the time for a treat got closer. On both experiment the rats were kept on their toes. In 1948 he was invited to come to Harvard, he remained at Harvard for the rest of his life. He then became a successful psychology writer. ...read more.

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