Search Results for 'Skinner'


Group: Neuroscience
From Skinner (e.g., 1938, 1974) on behavioral scientists have been interested in a unified, rigorous, scientific approach to the interplay between behavior and neurophysiology. The purpose of this section of the website is to present the work of behaviora…
Resource: Animal Behavior - Article
Animal Behavior - The Discovery of Shaping: B.F. Skinner's Big Surprise by Gail B. Peterson
Resource: Animal Behavior - Reader's Forum
Animal Behavior - Reader's Forum: Peterson, G. (unpublished paper). The World's First Look at Shaping: B.F. Skinner's Gutsy Gamble.
Resource: Hefferline Notes
A joint venture among the Center, the B.F. Skinner Foundation, and David Palmer leads to the publication of a .pdf document of the Hefferline Notes, Ralph Hefferline's notes on Skinner's lectures on verbal behavior at Columbia University in the summer of…
Resource: Verbal Behavior: William James Lectures
By agreement among the Center, the B.F. Skinner Foundation, and David Palmer, The William James Lectures are published as a .pdf document. These lectures were given by Skinner in 1948 at Harvard University as a precursor to Verbal Behavior (1957). The sea…
Resource: Bringing Skinner Home
Learn about this important work of art being brought back to the Center.
Resource: On Chomsky's Review of Skinner's Verbal Behavior
Skinner's book, Verbal Behavior, was published in 1957. Chomsky's review of it appeared in 1959. Chomsky's review was, to put it mildly, displeased. It was also a virtuoso performance whose echoes reverbered throughout psychology. This article provided th…
Resource: The Speaker as Listener: The Interpretation of Struct…
Regularities in word order not specifically addressed by Skinner require behavioral interpretation if our field is to become more influential among students of language. It is argued that the variables controlling such regularities derive from the speaker…
Resource: The Long Good-Bye: Why B. F. Skinner’s Verbal Behav…
The year 2007 marked the 50th anniversary of the publication of B. F. Skinner's Verbal Behavior, a book that by Skinner's own account was his most important. The received view, however, is that a devastating review by a young linguist not only rendered Sk…
Resource: Learning to use the Language of Emotions. (2010). Bon…
B.F. Skinner provided an important guide to the analysis of language in his book, Verbal Behavior. In this book, he stresses the critical value to focusing on the function of various aspects of communication. His analysis includes a very interesting secti…
Resource: Gilda Oliver, Artist
Learn more about Gilda Oliver, artist who captured B.F. Skinner through a sculpture commissioned by the Cambridge Center in 1980s.
Resource: Behavior and Philosophy, 41, 1-10 (2013). WE ARE ALL …
ABSTRACT: Methodological and radical behaviorisms have been contrasted not only with respect to their consideration, or lack thereof, of private psychological events, but also with respect to their criteria for scientificity. Skinner (1945), in particula…
Resource: Behavior and Philosophy, 41, 33-59 (2013). FILLING TH…
ABSTRACT: It is often said, especially in philosophy and the neuroscience literature, that Skinner defended an anti-physiological position on the explanation of behavior. Aside from this, behavior analysts who discuss the relation between behavior analysi…
Resource: Behavior and Philosophy, 41, 70-75 (2013). WHY I AM N…
ABSTRACT: Watson set the initial parameters for a science of behavior. The experimental analysis of behavior as developed by Skinner still has much work to do before claiming to be the science of behavior. The cultural environment has been shaping the be…
Resource: Behavior and Philosophy, 39/40, 1-16 (2011). A BEHAVI…
ABSTRACT: In Feelings: The Perception of Self, Laird deftly synthesizes decades of research supporting the self-perception theory of emotion and feeling, providing an account of these phenomenon that is compatible with radical behaviorism. Beginning with …
Resource: Behavior and Philosophy, 39/40, 303-307 (2011/2012). …
ABSTRACT: This commentary on the development of CyberRat points out that 1) CyberRat is an excellent educational alternative to a live rat in cases where instruction of basic operant conditioning principles cannot be carried out with live animals due to a…
Resource: Behavior and Philosophy, 39/40, 309-313 (2011/2012). …
ABSTRACT: The extent to which a virtual "CyberRat" is a valid stand-in for a live, behaving rat is addressed in terms of various versions of a Turing test. The CyberRat program, for the most part, is a valid substitute for a living, behaving subject as a …
Resource: Behavior and Philosophy, 38, 129-132 (2010). REMARKS.…
To the extent that behavior is governed by reinforcement contingencies, we may agree with B.F. Skinner that operant behavior is essentially the field of purpose. I should like to take another step and suggest that behavior under stimulus control is essent…
Resource: Behavior and Philosophy, 37, 39-57 (2009). OVERCOMIN…
Radical behaviorism is distinguished from other varieties of behaviorism in part by its willingness to include private events among its subjects of analysis. This paper reviews the public-private dichotomy as described by Skinner, and concludes that this …
Resource: Behavior and Philosophy, 37, 105-117 (2009). PRIVATE …
What are "private events" and what is their significance? The term is B. F. Skinner's, but the idea is much older. Before J. B. Watson challenged their methods and their metaphysics, virtually all psychologists assumed that the only way to discover a pers…
Resource: Behavior and Philosophy, 37, 157-163 (2009). "BEHAVI…
Behavior analysis ironically appears to be increasingly at risk for abandoning its historic focus of moment-to-moment behaving, to other disciplines ranging from robotics and the "man-machine interface" to cognitive science where behaving is called "actio…
Resource: Behavior and Philosophy, 37, 165-180 (2009). NATURALI…
In an earlier essay in this journal, the estimable John Staddon charges B. F. Skinner and E. O. Wilson with committing several fallacies while promoting evolutionary ethics. The present essay replies that what Staddon regards as fallacies are signal contr…
Resource: Behavior and Philosophy, 37, 187-194 (2009). VALUES: …
In his spirited "Faith and Goodness" (this issue), John Staddon says that my defense of B. F. Skinner's definition of the good-as what has the potential to reinforce desire for it-overlooks the fact that people sometimes desire the wrong things. Staddon a…
Resource: Behavior and Philosophy, 35, 131-138 (2007). A BEHAVI…
According to Foxall (2007), simple acts may best be explained in terms of behavior of the organism as a whole, but complex behavioral patterns, usually described by mental terms, can only be explained by neurocognitive psychology, in which the mind is …
Resource: Behavior and Philosophy, 34, 19-37 (2006). B. F. SKIN…
B. F. Skinner's The Behavior of Organisms (1938/1966) and Walden Two (1948) are both positivistic. Skinner explicitly stated his approach was positivistic in The Behavior of Organisms although he did not make an explicit statement about Walden Two. Thr…
Resource: Behavior and Philosophy, 33, 101-131 (2005). PAUL E.M…
Paul E. Meehl and B. F. Skinner, two of the foremost psychological theorists of the 20th century, overlapped at the University of Minnesota in the early 1940s when Skinner was a faculty member and Meehl was a graduate student. Though Skinner was well a…
Resource: Behavior and Philosophy, 32, 13-35 (2004). ON THE CON…
In the early twentieth century psychology became the study of "behavior." This article reviews developments within animal psychology, functional psychology, and American society and culture that help explain how a term rarely used in the first years of …
Resource: Behavior and Philosophy, 32, 125-147 (2004). MINDING …
There is a conflict of interest in behaviorism between diction and content, between clean speech and effective speech, between what we say and what we know. This article gives a framework for speech that is both clean and effective, that respects graded…
Resource: Behavior and Philosophy, 32, 231-242 (2004). SCIENTIF…
E.O. Wilson and B.F. Skinner have argued for an evolutionary ethics that allows what ought to be to be derived from what is-ethics from science. Evolution is inherently unpredictable, however, and some practices whose benefits cannot be proved might ne…
Resource: Behavior and Philosophy, 32, 305-312 (2004). PRAGMATI…
The purpose of this commentary is to discuss briefly a few points arising from Malone's (2001) interesting paper, "Ontology Recapitulates Philology: Willard Quine, Pragmatism, and Radical Behaviorism." Malone's paper serves both as a tribute to Quine a…
Resource: Behavior and Philosophy, 32, 313-315 (2004). PRAGMATI…
Leigland notes that the relation between radical behaviorism and pragmatism is complex and cites Richard Rorty as an exemplar of pragmatism. But Rorty promotes a bizarre version of pragmatism, not to be associated with radical behaviorism or with pragm…
Resource: Behavior and Philosophy, 32, 317-347 (2004). ON THE O…
Most psychology begins with a distinction between organism and environment, where the two are implicitly (and sometimes explicitly) conceptualized as flipsides of a skin-severed space. This paper examines that conceptualization. Dewey and Bentley's (19…
Resource: Behavior and Philosophy, 31, 47-61 (2003). WHAT COLOR…
Leigland eloquently and accurately distinguished methodological and radical behaviorism. Baum represents the molar radical behaviorism that has developed over the past four decades while Galbicka carries on the struggle of the old molecular view, a vie…
Resource: Behavior and Philosophy, 31, 63-80 (2003). EFFECTIVEN…
In this article we examine some of the relations between behavior analysis and the pragmatic philosophy of William James. We point out that the adoption of effectiveness as a truth criterion is common to both systems, which warrants a closer examinatio…
Resource: Behavior and Philosophy, 31, 81-110 (2003). SPECIFYIN…
Psychologists sometimes discuss the need to refine clear designations of the observable units comprising their subject matter. This paper links such discussions to (a) Dewey and Bentley's (1949) account of specification as relatively accurate unitdesign…
Resource: Behavior and Philosophy, 31, 111-126 (2003). WHAT IS …
With S.S. Stevens, operationism became an important influence in psychology. In this paper I discuss the differences between Bridgman's and Stevens' proposals on operationism and the role that operational definitions play in scientific theory. I discus…
Resource: Behavior and Philosophy, 31, 181-192 (2003). THE WHAT…
Putative distinctions between explanation and description constitute a very old issue in the sciences. Behavior analysts commonly call their science "descriptive" as opposed to "explanatory." One obvious difficulty here is to achieve any agreement on th…
Resource: Behavior and Philosophy, 29, 27-29 (2001). ABOUT PERS…
Rules are prescriptions, and prescriptions as in the case of instructions, are not related to the problem of reference. Even more, instructions and other kinds of prescriptions correspond to what Skinner labels as mands and not tacts, which ultimately …
Resource: Behavior and Philosophy, 29, 31-57 (2001). RADICAL BE…
Radical behaviorism is fundamentally different from traditional psychology, so it is not surprising that it has been widely misunderstood. It offers an alternative to the traditional treatments of mind that avoids some of the insoluble problems raised b…
Resource: Behavior and Philosophy, 29, 59-60 (2001). STEPPING U…
It is our position that a functional-analytic account of the specifying or referential properties of verbal stimuli, including rules and instructions, is perhaps the most crucial aspect of this extension of Skinner
Resource: Behavior and Philosophy, 29, 121-153 (2001). THE MODE…
Although culturally prominent modernist influences account for much of Skinner's early behaviorism, the subsequent changes in his views are appropriately considered as postmodern and are indebted to other sources. These changes are strikingly apparent …
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