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The Life and Times of B.F. Skinner Edit

Born 20 Mar 1904

Susquehanna Pennsylvania

1st May 1926

Graduated Hamilton College, NY

(An atheist yet had to attend daily chapel)

1st May 1930

Gained his masters in Psychology, Harvard

Invented The Skinner Box

1st May 1931

PhD from Harvard


29th November 1936

Married Yvonne Blue

29th November 1938

Published first book The Behavior of Organisms

Featuring studies on operant behaviour and conditioning


29th November 1943

Created the air crib for Yvonne as she wanted a crib that was safe

29th November 1944

During World War II Skinner began to train Pigeons

to direct missiles

This project was discontinued

He found that pigeons react much faster than rats

leading to faster discoveries


29th November 1948

Published Walden Two

A utopian novel which in its time could have been considered science fiction.


30th November 1953

Published Science and Human Behaviour

The book includes what may be Skinner's earliest

statement about the similarity of operant selection to

Darwinian natural selection in phylogeny.


30th November 1957

Published Verbal Behaviour

A theoretical book which studies human behaviour while also describing linguistics


11th November 1958

Devised the Teaching Machine

A program that had a list of questions for a learner to

respond to. When answered correctly, the learner

would be rewarded.


30th November 1971

Published Beyond Freedom and Dignity

An attempt to promote Skinner’s philosophy of science and conception of determination. It attempts to outline Skinner’s theory of  “cultural engineering”


30th November 1972

Won the award for Humanist of the year from the

American Humanist Association.

He won this because of his contribution of

behaviourism as a Humanistic Psychology.

May 1974

Retires from conducting research and teaching


18th August 1990

Dies in Cambridge, Massachusetts

Mount Auburn Cemetery

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