Knock Wood Arvester & Jake B.F. Skinner • Burrhus Frederic (March 20, 1904-Aug 18, 1990) was an American behaviorist, inventor. He was the Edgar Pierce Professor of Psych. at Harvard University from 1958-1974. • • Skinner called his brand of behaviorism “Radical” behaviorism. He believed that everything psychology is behaviorally driven Background • • • • Exploring: Consequences shape actions. By: Skinner Box method. Experiment • • • • • Skinner Box (Conditioning Chamber) Food dispenser controlled by Skinner Food Given for reinforcement Lever if pressed will cause food to be dispensed. Experimenter controls lever. Patient Results • Rats could be conditioned to the experimenters liking. • They behaved as if a certain action produced the food. • They became superstitious. • The behavior is put on extinction. • This meant the reinforcement was discontinued. Historical Significance • Superstitions are proven to be real • Superstitions are everywhere and produce society wide effects. • Superstitions can now be used to influence behavior throughout the medical field. Recent Applications • Helps advance medical fields treatments of kids with ADHD by using skinner’s reinforcement theory • Studies found that superstitious behaviors were developed better and faster through negative reinforcement. Ethical Questions/ Criticisms • Subject of heated controversy • Other prominent theoretical approaches to human behavior have argued that the strict behavioral views are unable to account for many of the psychological processes that are fundamental to humans.