B.F. Skinner Theory
B.F. Skinner is an interesting theorist in psychology. Paper Masters has received many requests for projects on Skinner and his psychological theory of radical behaviorism. Over the years, we have compiled the best way to outline a research paper on B.F. Skinner. Follow the guide below and you will be on your way to an excellent project that overviews the theorist Skinner.
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Students that need to perform an in-depth research on B.F. Skinner and present his findings should address the following:
- Skinner's Background: Brief background of the theorist as it relates to the development of their perspective.
- Skinner's Key Theoretical Concept(s): A detailed explanation of the theorist's key concept or most important contribution(s) to the field.
- How Skinner's Theory relates to Human Nature and Individual Differences: A discussion of how this theory addresses the questions:
- How human beings are all alike
- How human beings are like some others
- How a human being is like no other human being
- How Skinner's Theory Relates to Personality: A discussion of how the theorist conceptualized healthy and unhealthy personality development and all personality types.
- Research: A description of Skinner's research methodologies.
- Critique of Skinner's Theory: A discussion of how the theory is accepted by other industry professionals.
- Application: A discussion, with examples, of common practical applications of the theory.
- Your Personal Response to Skinner: A description of how the theory relates to your everyday life.
About B.F. Skinner and His Theories
According to B.F. Skinner Foundation, American psychiatrist B.F. Skinner (1904-1990) was a leading proponent of the behaviorist school. Skinner preferred to call his theory "radical behaviorism" and he received large amounts of both praise and condemnation for his ideas. Skinner's ideas can be best summed up by noting that human behavior results from one's history of reinforcing consequences.
Behaviorism is the opposite of cognitive psychology. Skinner believed that all behavior, human behavior included, could be studied through the scientific method, with an emphasis on operant conditioning. Operant condition is learning through consequences. Skinner invented the operant conditioning chamber, known as the Skinner box, in which a pigeon or rat was placed. Animals were trained to respond to a primary reinforce (food). Animals learned to push a lever in response to a particular light, obtaining food. Sometimes these devices could also produce an electrical shock to reinforce learning.
Skinner and Operant Conditioning
Operant conditioning, according to Skinner, required reinforcement and punishment as consequences, either expanding or eliminating a desired behavior. If one wishes to increase a behavior, a positive reinforcer is introduced. Conversely, behaviors can be decreased through punishment or the removal of the positive reinforcer. Many of Skinner's theories were controversial, as he frequently discounted the idea of free will in human behavior.
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