B.F. Skinner quotes

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B.F. Skinner

Birthdate: 20. March 1904
Date of death: 18. August 1990
Other names: ಬಿ.ಎಫ‍್.ಸ್ಕಿನ್ನರ್

Burrhus Frederic Skinner was an American psychologist, behaviorist, author, inventor, and social philosopher. He was the Edgar Pierce Professor of Psychology at Harvard University from 1958 until his retirement in 1974.Skinner considered free will an illusion and human action dependent on consequences of previous actions. If the consequences are bad, there is a high chance the action will not be repeated; if the consequences are good, the probability of the action being repeated becomes stronger. Skinner called this the principle of reinforcement.To strengthen behavior, Skinner used operant conditioning, and he considered the rate of response to be the most effective measure of response strength. To study operant conditioning, he invented the operant conditioning chamber, also known as the Skinner Box, and to measure rate he invented the cumulative recorder. Using these tools, he and C. B. Ferster produced his most influential experimental work, which appeared in their book Schedules of Reinforcement .Skinner developed behavior analysis, the philosophy of that science he called radical behaviorism, and founded a school of experimental research psychology—the experimental analysis of behavior. He imagined the application of his ideas to the design of a human community in his utopian novel, Walden Two, and his analysis of human behavior culminated in his work, Verbal Behavior.

Skinner was a prolific author who published 21 books and 180 articles. Contemporary academia considers Skinner a pioneer of modern behaviorism, along with John B. Watson and Ivan Pavlov. A June 2002 survey listed Skinner as the most influential psychologist of the 20th century. Wikipedia

Works

Walden Two
Walden Two
B.F. Skinner

„Let men be happy, informed, skillful, well behaved, and productive.“

—  B.F. Skinner

Freedom and the control of men (1955/1956) American Scholar, 25 (1), 47-65.

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„We shouldn't teach great books; we should teach a love of reading.“

—  B.F. Skinner

As quoted in B. F. Skinner : The Man and His Ideas (1968) by Richard Isadore Evans, p. 73.
Context: We shouldn't teach great books; we should teach a love of reading. Knowing the contents of a few works of literature is a trivial achievement. Being inclined to go on reading is a great achievement.

„I did not direct my life. I didn’t design it. I never made decisions. Things always came up and made them for me. That’s what life is.“

—  B.F. Skinner

As quoted in "Unpacking the Skinner Box : Revisiting B. F. Skinner through a Postformal Lens" by Dana Salter in The Praeger Handbook of Education and Psychology Vol. 4 (2008) edited by Joe L. Kincheloe and Raymond A. Horn, Ch. 99, p. 872.

„It is the teacher's function to contrive conditions under which students learn. Their relevance to a future usefulness need not be obvious.“

—  B.F. Skinner

"Free and Happy Student" in The Phi Delta Kappan (September 1973); later published in Reflections on Behaviorism and Society (1978).
Context: Many instructional arrangements seem "contrived", but there is nothing wrong with that. It is the teacher's function to contrive conditions under which students learn. Their relevance to a future usefulness need not be obvious.
It is a difficult assignment. The conditions the teacher arranges must be powerful enough to compete with those under which the student tends to behave in distracting ways.

„Education is what survives when what has been learned has been forgotten.“

—  B.F. Skinner

"New methods and new aims in teaching", in New Scientist, 22(392) (21 May 1964), pp.483-4.

„The real question is not whether machines think but whether men do. The mystery which surrounds a thinking machine already surrounds a thinking man.“

—  B.F. Skinner

Contingencies of Reinforcement: A Theoretical Analysis (1969).
Source: Contingencies Of Reinforcement: A Theoretical Analysis

„Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit. Etiam egestas wisi a erat. Morbi imperdiet, mauris ac auctor dictum.“

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