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The Importance of Skinner and His Behavior Analysis Concepts

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The Importance of Skinner and His Behavior Analysis Concepts

The variety of theories on personality, behavior, and major aspects of psychology are constantly growing. Opposing viewpoints are present and spark a variety of debates that, at times, can become quite controversial. Despite the controversy, many developing theories have resulted and draw some of their foundation from prior theories. In light of all of this, we can approach the study of various theories with a knowledge that all draw from each other for answers to the human mind and brain and many have contributed in massive ways to this pursuit. B.F. Skinner's theories on Behavioral Analysis are among this elite group. His studies on behavior, personality, and the mind have contributed largely to future developments that have shaped the field of psychology. His theories are both known and respected and he has quickly become one of the most well known psychologists in the world. In light of his accomplishments, we can establish, after reviewing his biography, his theories, and some prime examples of his major theories, B. F. Skinner's behavioral analysis theories are not only well known, but accurate and beneficial to the field of modern psychology.

Biography of B.F. Skinner

Childhood and Early Years

B.F. Skinner was born on March 20, 1904 in Pennsylvania by a very political father and a caring mother who remained at home to care for both Skinner and his brother (Feist & Feist, 2009). His upbringing was consistent, happy, and middle-class and his parents modeled the ideal religious couple that sought to raise their children (Skinner and his brother) to be independent and successful adults (Feist & Feist, 2009). Skinner's childhood was largely uneventful except for the belief that Skinner possessed that his brother was more loved by his parents than he was (Feist & Feist, 2009). As a result of this belief, Skinner grew unattached from his family while, at the same time, being held back from his independence as a young adult (Feist & Feist, 2009). Skinner entered Hamilton College seeking a career in writing (Feist & Feist, 2009). His father did not easily accept his ambitions, but Skinner pursued this career full force despite his father's lack of approval (Feist & Feist, 2009). Shortly after, however, Skinner was forced to pursue a new career due to lack of funding and seemingly no new progress and psychology quickly became his main focus (Feist & Feist, 2009). Overall, Skinner's upbringing, while largely uneventful, developed Skinner and assisted in developing inner beliefs that would later influence some of his works and theories.

Adulthood and Career

Skinner's pursuit of psychology quickly led him to the area of behaviorism and it was there that his extensive college education in psychology began (Feist & Feist, 2009). After obtaining his PhD, Skinner began shifting his focuses towards beginning a life with his newfound knowledge and began extensive laboratory research, teaching, writing psychological literature,



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