B F Skinner

B.F. Skinner was born Burrhus Fredric Skinner on 20th March 1904. Skinner was born in a small town in Pennsylvania called Susquehanna. Although his father was a local lawyer and his mother a devoted housewife, the family lived a rather simple life and he and his brother were brought up in an old-fashioned way. However, what was considered old-fashioned taught Skinner and his brother the value of hard-work and determination. Despite the hard work, Skinner, and his brother were innovative and loved to work and play outdoors. They were also very outgoing and enjoyed reasoning and school work. His brother, however, died at a young age of 16 years due to a cerebral aneurysm. Skinner was badly hit by this tragedy and almost gave up in life. However, the support from his parents enabled him to complete college and graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in English.

Skinner’s work in psychology began when he left his work of writing newspaper articles after graduation and went back to school, Harvard, to study psychology. He worked closely with most of his professors and developed a deep interest in psychology. He got his Masters in Psychology and his doctorate in less than one year apart (1930-1931). He later stayed behind in Harvard to do research until 1936. His research was majorly based on behavioral psychology and led to the development of the operant conditioning theory which is based on the impact of stimulus and the reinforced stimulus to behavior and responses. Skinner has published several articles on this theory, and it has become one of the most important theory in behavioral and motivational psychology as well as in other fields of psychology.

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