BF Skinner is an American psychologist, known for his important contributions to the field of behaviorism. His research on operational conditioning and reinforcement schedules is still essential today, and these techniques are still used in psychology, education, animal training, and other fields.
After obtaining an undergraduate degree in English literature, he initially intended to become a novelist, which may be why he became such a prolific writer.After turning to psychology, he wrote more than 200 articles and books, including Walden Two and Beyond freedom and dignity.
The following are just some quotations from his publications.
from Walden Two
“When the individual is helpless, society will attack as soon as possible.”
“Some of us have learned to control more or less accidentally. The rest of us don’t even understand how this is possible throughout our lives, and blame our failures on birth errors.”
“Fame comes at the expense of others. Even the well-deserved honour of a scientist or scholar is unfair to many people who have achieved the same but achieved nothing. When one person has a place in the sun, others are deprived of it. A thicker shadow. From the perspective of the entire team, there is no gain, maybe a loss.”
“Thugs rushed into places where people were afraid to set foot.”
from Science and Human Behavior
“The only way to judge whether a given event enhances a given organism under given conditions is to perform a direct test. We observe the frequency of the selected response, then determine the event based on it and observe any changes in frequency. If there is a change, we will The incident is classified as an enhancement of the organism under existing conditions.”
“Behavioral reinforcement caused by reinforcement is aptly called’conditioned reflex’. In operational conditioning, we’enhance’ the operability to make the reaction more likely, or actually more frequent.”
from Beyond freedom and dignity
“We admire people to such an extent that they cannot explain what they are doing, and the word’admiration’ means’wow’.”
“Failure is not always a mistake, it may just be the best thing that can be done in this situation. The real mistake is to stop trying.”
“In the traditional view, a person is free. In the sense that his actions are unprovoked, he is autonomous. Therefore, he can be responsible for his actions, and if he offends, he can be punished justly. This view, and related practices, must be re-examined when scientific analysis reveals the unknown control relationship between behavior and the environment.”
From other publications
“Rituals are superstitions; they are reinforced by accident. The more conspicuous and rigid the accidental behavior of the reinforcement, the greater the effect.”
“We should not teach good books, we should teach love to read. Knowing the content of some literary works is a trivial matter, and willingness to continue reading is a great achievement.”
“When the things learned are forgotten, education is what survives.”
“When the operator is reinforced, any stimulus that exists will be controlled because it will have a higher rate when it exists. Such a stimulus will not act as a stimulus; it will not cause a reaction in the sense that it is forced to occur. It’s just an important aspect of the situation where the response is made and strengthened. By calling it a discriminatory stimulus, the difference can be clearly shown.”
You can learn more about BF Skinner by reading this short biography about BF Skinner, exploring his theory of operational conditioning, and reviewing his strengthening schedule.