B F Skinner


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About the book

Who the Hell is B F Skinner? looks at the life and works of the highly influential American psychologist, behaviourist, social philosopher and inventor. A pioneer of modern behaviourism, Skinner founded a school of experimental research psychology and published over 20 books and numerous articles. His work on behavioural conditioning altered the course of psychology and psychotherapy. Here we find out who this ingenious man really was and how he developed his groundbreaking ideas, before delving into those ideas in detail.

Chapter 1: Skinner's Life Story

Chapter 2: Influences on Skinner's Thinking

Chapter 3: Operant Conditioning
This chapter looks at Skinner's idea that behaviour is strengthened or weakened by its consequences. Skinner was the first to bring together both operant and respondent behaviours in his experiments.

Chapter 4: Applications of Skinner's Work
Skinner was a brilliant inventor and, by combining his psychologist and behaviourist skills with those of creating new processes, he produced works such as the aircrib, teaching machines and pigeon-guided missiles.

Chapter 5: Radical Behaviourism
Here we look at Skinner's philosophy of behavioural science, showing why he believes that environmental factors affect and control behaviour.

About the author

Tom Buxton-Cope graduated in Psychology from Manchester University, UK, and went on to complete an MA in Education, qualifying to be a teacher. He has taught psychology for over 10 years, and has held the position of Head of Psychology in various educational establishments. He is also an A-Level (college-level) examiner. He writes regular Psychology Factsheets for Curriculum Press and has authored several articles in Psychology Review for Hodder Education. Tom currently lives in Stockport, Greater Manchester, UK.