Among the varied contributions made by B.F. Skinner in a long and distinguished career is the renascence of interest among educators in self-instructional devices issuing from the application of the principles of Skinnerian operant conditioning to human learning situations. Professor Skinner received the A.B. from Hamilton in 1926, the M.A. in 1930, and the Ph.D. in 1931 from Harvard. Between 1936 and 1945, he served as a member of the University of Minnesota faculty, becoming chairman of the department of psychology at Indiana University in 1945 and professor of psychology at Harvard in 1948. His principal books include The Behavior of Organisms (1938), which reported the initial experiments on conditioning the behavior of rats utilizing the famed Skinner Box; Walden Two (1948), a blueprint in fictional form of a culture designed according to the methodology of behavioral engineering; Science and Human Behavior (1953), a text in general psychology; Verbal Behavior (1957), a massive analysis of literary and verbal responses; Schedules of Reinforcement with C. B. Ferster (1957); Cumulative Record (1959), a collection of papers, many of which focus directly upon the development of instructional instruments and the programming of educational materials; and The Analysis of Behavior with J.G. Holland (1961), a programmed textbook both focusing on and illustrating the principles of operant conditioning.
The author of this papre, Nathaniel J. Pallone, currently is on the faculty of New York University and is editor of the Journal of the National Catholic Guidance Conference. He is the author of many articles and books.
Pallone, Nathaniel J.
"From Frazier to Dale Cooper: The 'Behavioral Engineering' of Human Learning,"
University of Dayton Review: Vol. 4:
2, Article 3.
Available at: https://ecommons.udayton.edu/udr/vol4/iss2/3