Currently browsing "Behaviorism"

What was B.F. Skinner really like? A study parses his traits

March 20th marks the birthday of famed behavioral psychologist B.F. Skinner, who would have turned 108 today. Besides Sigmund Freud, B.F. Skinner was the most famous and perhaps the most influential psychologist of the 20th century. But his own “radical behaviorism”—the idea that  behavior is caused solely by environmental factors, never by thoughts or feelings—made him a magnet of controversy, which grew even more intense with the publication of his best-known book, Beyond Freedom & Dignity. “He was looked at as beyond the pale by a lot of other psychologists, including me,” says Dean Keith Simonton, a psychologist at the University of California Davis, who was a graduate student at Harvard when Skinner taught there. Some even called Skinner a fascist for his radical views of human malleability. But, says Simonton, “people who knew him would also say, ‘You really should talk to Skinner, because he’s a much broader, more open person than you think.’” ... More>

Solving the mystery of ‘Little Albert’

Robert Sapolsky: The uniqueness of humans

Humans enjoy having a laugh at the seemingly silly things other animals do, oblivious to the fact that they offer up plenty of humorous fodder to the rest of Mother […]... More>

Dan Ariely on our buggy moral code

Humanity is inherently irrational and illogical. In spite of this, however, there exist valid psychological explanations for the whys and hows behind immoral behavior. Subtle stimuli — largely undetectable by […]... More>

Presidential Column

What Happened to Behaviorism

The year 2004 marks the centenary of B. F. Skinner’s birth. I doubt that most members of the American Psychological Society (and even a smaller proportion of all psychologists) will […]... More>