B. F. Skinner was a pioneer in the field of psychology. He built on the behaviorist theories of Ivan Pavlov and John Watson, emphasizing the importance of using reward and punishment to change behavior. His methods continue to be influential in the fields of psychology and education, including computer-based instruction. Write a three- to five-page paper, and a bibliography, on the life and work of B. F. Skinner, founder of the operant conditioning school of behavioral psychology. This project will increase your knowledge of B. F. Skinner’s life and work and help you recognize his continuing influence in the psychology and education fields. Using five or more sources, research Skinner’s life and major contributions to the field of psychology.
Your report will include the following:
1. Overview. Use the heading Overview and write a brief introduction to what you’ve learned about
Skinner’s life and work.
2. Biography. Put information about Skinner’s life, education, and so on under the heading
Biography. It doesn’t need to be long, but the biography section should include basic personal
information, educational background, and influences that led Skinner to his life’s work.
3. Summary of Skinner’s work. Use the heading Major Contributions to discuss Skinner’s
Theories, important contributions to the field of psychology, and continuing influence. Under the
heading Books, write a summary of how Skinner’s books Walden II and Beyond Freedom
and Dignity reflect his ideas on social engineering and the ideal society. (You don’t need to read
the books, but find synopses and/or criticisms of the books that will tell you enough to allow you
to understand their content.)
4. Conclusion. Sum up what you’ve learned about B. F. Skinner under the heading Conclusion.
5. Bibliography. Your bibliography page should contain at least five sources. Up to four may be
Internet sources, but all must be reputable professional sources, not blogs, student papers, or
nonprofessional opinions.