Burrhus Frederic Skinner (1904 - 1990)

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Birthplace: Gibson, Susquehanna, PA
Death: Died in Cambridge, Middlesex, MA
Managed by: Gene
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About Burrhus Frederic Skinner

Originator of Behaviourism


Burrhus Frederic Skinner (March 20, 1904 – August 18, 1990) was an American behaviorist, author, inventor, social philosopher and poet. He was the Edgar Pierce Professor of Psychology at Harvard University from 1958 until his retirement in 1974.

Skinner invented the operant conditioning chamber, innovated his own philosophy of science called radical behaviorism, and founded his own school of experimental research psychology—the experimental analysis of behavior. His analysis of human behavior culminated in his work Verbal Behavior, which has recently seen enormous increase in interest experimentally and in applied settings.

Skinner discovered and advanced the rate of response as a dependent variable in psychological research. He invented the cumulative recorder to measure rate of responding as part of his highly influential work on schedules of reinforcement. In a June, 2002 survey, Skinner was listed as the most influential psychologist of the 20th century. He was a prolific author who published 21 books and 180 articles.

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Burrhus Skinner's Timeline

March 20, 1904
Gibson, Susquehanna, PA
November 1, 1936
Age 32
August 18, 1990
Age 86
Cambridge, Middlesex, MA
Mount Auburn Cemetery, Cambridge, MA