Skinner V. Skinner

665 Words 3 Pages
Learning theories are central to the discipline of psychology, therefore, impossible to separate the history of learning theories from the history of psychology. Learning defined as a lasting change in behaviours or beliefs that result from experience, the ability to learn provides every living organism with the ability to adapt to changing environments (Skinner, 1938). Learning theories evolved to separate into two perspectives. First, the behaviourist perspective argues that learning be studied by observation and manipulation of stimulus-response associations. John Watson, who argued that psychology should be the study of observable phenomena, not the study of consciousness, or the mind, first articulated behaviourist perspective in 1913. …show more content…
As a small child, Skinner showed interest in building stuff. Skinner’s mother stayed home to care for Skinner and his younger brother and his father was a lawyer. Skinner developed a passion for composing while he was a student at Hamilton College and attempted to be a professional author in the wake of graduating in 1926, however with little success. After two years, Skinner enrolled at Harvard University to study psychology where he explored a more objective and measured way to study behaviour. Skinner created what he called an operant conditioning device to do this, better known the Skinner box. Skinner used the device to study an animal interacting with its environment. Initially mulled over rats in his analyses, perceiving how the rodents found and used to a level in the box, which administered food at different interims. Later, Skinner examined what behaviour patterns developed in pigeons using the box. From these studies, Skinner reached the conclusion that some form of reinforcement was crucial in learning new behaviours and published his results of operant conditioning experiments in “The Behaviour of Organisms (1938)” after obtaining his doctorate degree. Skinner became chair of the psychology department at Indiana University in 1945, but left two years later to return to Harvard as a lecturer, received a professorship in 1948, and remained for the rest of his career at Harvard. Skinner developed interest in education as his children grew older, leading to the design of a teaching machine to study learning in children, published in “The Technology of Teaching” in 1968. Skinner composed a few works applying his behavioural theories of society, including “Beyond Freedom and Dignity (1971)” in the late 1960s and early '70s. In conclusion, Skinner best known for the advancement of behaviourism theory and the novel "Walden Two" (1948),

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