B. F. Skinner

In memoriam of B. F. Skinner, who died 1990 on August 18th at the age of 86. The greatest contemporary psychologist, he was also living history—one of the giants of our discipline whose early contributions helped shape modern psychology and who continued, decade after decade, to refine and develop his powerful concepts.

Casper Citron interviews B.F. Skinner, Alberta Szalita and David Begelman (1971)

For 15 of Casper Citron’s 43 years in broadcasting he interviewed people for WQXR. His studio for a good part of that time was the Algonquin Hotel where he spoke with people in the arts, politics and literature. Among the hundreds of interviews were Margot Fonteyn, Marcel Duchamp, Martin Luther King Jr., Robert F. Kennedy, Dwight Eisenhower and Alfred Eisenstadt.

Citron (1919-2001) was also a regular host of an interview program on WNYC-TV as well as WRFM and WOR. We are grateful to his daughter Christiane Citron of Denver, Colorado for making these broadcasts available to us and to the Paley Center for the Media for the digital copies.

On Oct 13, 1971 Casper Citron talks with the famous behavior theorist B.F. Skinner. Joining Citron and Skinner are Alberta Szalita and David Begelman. One of the topics is Skinner's just-released book "Beyond Freedom and Dignity".


Published by: The NYPR Archive Collections
Source: https://www.wnyc.org/story/b-f-skinner-with-szalita-and-bagelman/
Language: English
Tags: #bfskinner #behavior #behaviorism #behaviorology

Speech of W. V. O. Quine on B.F. Skinner's Retirement Party (1974)

1974. W. V. Quine's Remarks at B. F. Skinner's Harvard University Retirement Party, October 17, 1974.

A wonderful description of parallels between Skinner and Quine's lives with connection to Alice in Wonderland. In January 2001, I was asked for a transcript of W. V. Quine's comments upon the retirement of B. F. Skinner at Harvard University. In July 2003, I found the eleven original note cards which are transcribed (abbreviations expanded into full words as spoken) below. The numbers in () indicate the start of each new card. Alessio Bazzanella - a philosophy graduate student in Italy told me about the audio version which is referenced above.

-- Douglas B. Quine, PhD

W. V. Quine transcript from Skinner Retirement Party

Copyright (c) 1974 by W. V. Quine


[Metal Notecard (3" x 5") Left Drawer (# 28)]

(1) Fred and I are the Edgar Pierce twins, Tweedledum and Tweedledee. He is the Edgar Pierce Professor of Psychology and I am the Edgar Pierce Professor of Philosophy. I have it on Lewis Carroll's authority that Tweedledee was the logician. I quote: "Contrariwise", continued Tweedledee, "if it was so it might be, and if it were so, it would be; but as it isn't, it ain't. That's logic."

That makes Fred Tweedledum. However, the comparison holds only up to a point. We (2) never agreed to have a battle. Contrariwise.

As a matter of fact, this Edgar Pierce two-seater of ours is only a late connection. Our joint incumbency of it dates back less than 20 years. In our youth we were paired under other auspices: the Harvard Society of Fellows. The Society began operations 41 years ago, in 1933. Fred and I were there, as original junior fellows. The Harvard Gazette came out last week with a contrary story, but we must not believe (3) everything we read in the papers.

That joint incumbency of 1933 was less exclusive than our Edgar Pierce sofa. We original junior fellows were not 2, but 6. There were Fred and I and there was Garrett Birkhoff to name the 3 who are now professors at Harvard. But even in that class of 6 Fred and I were a very special subclass of 2: we were the only ones who already had Ph.D.'s. The Society of Fellows was founded partly in order to counteract an over-emphasis (4) of the Ph.D.; so Fred and I were living testimonials to the forebearance [sic] of the founding fathers.

It was then and there that Fred and I met, but we had already been preconditioned to see eye to eye on most of what mattered. Back in the 20's I had imbibed behaviorism at Oberlin from Raymond Stetson, who had wisely required us to study John B. Watson's Psychology from the Standpoint of a Behaviorist. In Czechoslovakia (5) a few years later I had been confirmed in my behaviorism by Rudolf Carnap's physicalism, his Psychlogic in physikalischer Sprache. So Fred and I met on common ground in our scorn of mental entities Mind shmind; on that proposition we were agreed. The things of the mind were strictly for the birds. To say nothing of freedom and dignity.

By coincidence we had also another substantial preconditioning in common; a (6) predilection for language. I was already an etymology buff of some years' standing, but it was Fred who brought me abreast of the enlightened new linguistics; Otto Jespersen and Leonard Bloomfield. It seems to me that we were sitting on a grassy upper slope of Belmont Hill, which in those days was rural New England, and Fred told me about Jespersen's new scientific approach to English grammar.

Fred was keen on linguistics old and (7) new, for it was in those days also that he put me on to John Horne Tooke. He gave me the earliest American edition of Epea Pteroenta or the Diversions of Purley, a 2-vol. essay in philosophical grammar dating from 1775.

So you see that Fred's book on verbal behavior was no latter-day afterthought by way of applying behavioral psychology. It was brewing in the early days. In fact, language and literature came first; for I (8) seem to have known that Fred was an English major at Hamilton College. And I think of 2 minor publications of his, back in the salad days of the Society of Fellows, in which he applied his behavioral psychology not just to verbal behavior in the raw but to belles lettres themselves. One of these was a behavioral analysis of some sonnets of Shakspere [sic], and the other was an aetiology of the verbal misbehavior of Gertrude Stein. (9) All in all he was not one to make short shrift of his finer sensibilities. He even got himself a clavichord.

But already in those days Fred was a scientist at heart. He was already building ingenious individual automat cafeterias for his albino rats. I remember the delight he took in a gadgety new overcoat that had all sorts of unexpected new tabs and pockets and reversibilia insuspecta. He was not only a scientist, he was an engineer (10)

They were good years, 1933-6, when the Society of Fellows was new and the world was young. In 1934 Harry Levin moved in to brighten the Society further, and Benedict Einarson, and Geo. Homans. Eve Blue came too, embellishing the scene; Soon she was Eve Skinner. And then in 1936 Fred and Eve fared forth again from our midst, to wander 11 years in the wilderness. By 1947 they were back; Fred was William James Lecturer, and Verbal Behavior was verbally in hand. The happy ending was at hand, and we (11) have all lived happily ever after.

Let us drink to many more years of the same.


Published by: unknown
Source: unknown
Language: English
Tags: #bfskinner #behavior #behaviorism #behaviorology

B.F. Skinner and W.V.O Quine - A Discussion (1981)

In 1981 B.F. Skinner held a series of small seminars with his colleagues to discuss a variety of different philosophical and scientific topics. In one of the seminars behaviourist philosopher Willard Quine was a guest. Other members of the discussion that day were the linguist Pere Julia, as well as another unidentified male guest (perhaps Gerald Zuriff who attended most of these discussions), Margret Vaughan and Will Vaughan were present as was the Swedish linguist and poet Lars Gutafson.

The discussion begins with an analysis of motivation, reasons and causes. One of the central themes is Skinner’s distinction between rule-governed behaviour and contingency shaped behaviour. Skinner first made this distinction in his 1967 book ‘Contingencies of Reinforcement’: “Society codifies its ethical, religious, and legal practices so that by following a code the individual may emit behaviour appropriate to social contingencies without having been directly exposed to them. Scientific laws play a similar role in guiding the life of scientists…Discriminative stimuli which improve the efficiency of behaviour under given contingencies of reinforcement are important, but they must not be confused with the contingencies themselves, nor with the effects of those contingencies…The behaviour of one who speaks correctly by applying the rules of grammar merely resembles the one who speaks correctly from long experience in his verbal community.” (Contingencies of Reinforcement, p. 125)

Skinner discussed the matter further in his (1974) ‘About Behaviourism’:

“To say that “The child who learns a language has in some sense constructed a grammar for himself” is as misleading as to say that a dog which has learned to catch a ball has in some sense constructed the relevant part of the science of mechanics. Rules can be abstracted from the reinforcing contingencies in both cases, and once in existence may be used as guides. The direct effect of the contingencies is of a different nature…There are then two extremes: (1) Behaviour shaped only by the contingencies of reinforcement, in which case we respond “unconsciously”, and (2) rule governed behaviour in which the contingencies from which these rules are derived may not have affected us directly. Between these extremes lie a wide range of degrees of “awareness”. (ibid pp 126-128)

We can see from above the importance Skinner made of the distinction of behaviour governed by explicit rules codified in language and behaviour caused by the contingencies of reinforcement. From at least 1967 Skinner was making a clear distinction between a person’s behaviour fitting rules, and people’s behaviour being guided by rules. Quine made a similar distinction explicit 5 years later in his paper ‘Methodological Reflections on Current Linguistic Theory’: “My distinction between fitting and guiding is, you see, the obvious and flat-footed one. Fitting is a matter of true description; guiding is a matter of cause and effect. Behaviour fits a rule whenever it conforms to it; whenever the rule truly describes the behaviour. But the behaviour is not guided by the rule unless the behaver knows the rule and can state it. This behaver observes the rule” (Quine: Methodological Reflections on Current Linguistic Theory’ p. 386).

So at the time of the discussion both Skinner and Quine both were very concerned with accounting for the distinction between rule-governed behaviour and behaviour that was entirely causal.

Below is a transcript from the first 15 minutes of the conversation (which should be read while listening to the audio recording) where they discuss reasons, causation and motivation. The rest of the conversation hasn’t been archived I will archive it at some later stage and post it here.

First section: An analysis of Reasons, Causes and Motivation

Quine: That’s what I meant by reference to drive. There will still be something in the way of motivation…maybe that’s true of all caused behaviour.

Julia: You did it. And you may verbalise the wrong reasons. I did it for such and such a reason but as the Freudian would say you did it for very different reasons.

Skinner: That was Freud’s little …he would indicate different reasons for doing something than the reasons you gave. But the reasons he would have given…If they are unconscious reasons, then they must be what I have been calling causes and not reasons because they are not verbal.

Julia: So you have causes on the one hand which would be a list of the variables that lead to the behaviour. Now you might describe these causes and then you would be giving reasons for having done it. But these reasons may not be the real causes. So we would have an intersection of two sets but they are not necessarily the same set.

Skinner: When you were young you were reinforced in many ways in the presence of your mothers face. Then you grow up and you fall in love with a woman who looks like your mother looked at that time. That’s all a matter of cause in the sense that it’s just a behavioural process. But you give reasons why you find her beautiful. Then Freud turns up and says aha you overlooked the fact that she looked like your mother when you were a child. So that the contingencies, the unanalysed, un-rationalized contingencies, were simply the fact that that person is attracted to her and that is where motivation comes in, whether the mother was feeding you caressing you and so on, and you go for that kind of person, and you go for this woman. But then you give a lot of other reasons, she is very intellectual, you enjoy talking to her, and so on. You give all sorts of reasons, which as Freud would point out are not the real reason you married her. You married for unconscious reasons, and the fact that it is unconscious means that you haven’t talked about it, and couldn’t talk about it, without converting it into reason governed behaviour. The real reason you married her was because she looked like your mother and as soon as you say that it is now a description of the contingencies.

Quine: Is this only difference? Would you say that reasons are causes verbalised by the subject himself? And when we say causes we mean real causes, and these aren’t kidding himself.

Skinner: These are behavioural processes unwinding, that is what we mean by cause.

Quine: So reasons would be separated, the way that the notion of cause separates reasons from false rationalisations. False rationalisations and reasons have in common that they are verbalised, but reasons are distinguished from the false rationalisations in that they really causes as well…so all reasons are causes.

Skinner: It’s very important that you don’t get people to do anything by giving a reason. That doesn’t have what you would call a motivation. That is why you advise someone in therapy. Let’s say he is a pathological gambler you can say “you should give up gambling and that is a good reason. If you give up gambling you won’t lose money”. But that doesn’t mean that he is going to take that knowledge and act on it and stop.

Quine: That’s saying that they are verbalised by the subject, not the advisor but by the subject himself.

Skinner: Well the reasons could be imparted. When you tell some one, when you give someone reasons to do things. You are hoping to change the behaviour by giving the reason. But unless there is some reason to follow the reason, unless there is a cause there, that would be “you do this or else” it could be that kind of cause. You describe the behaviour, if you can threaten a person will do it, if you can say and they have news for you, that would be a way of getting them to do it because in the past when people have said things you tend to do things and so on. But a mere statements of contingencies may not be enough.

Quine: Well now try this one. A reason is a verbalised cause (the verbalisation may be through someone else) such that the subject accepts the verbalisation and is aware that it is the cause. Of course the trouble here is that awareness comes in.

Skinner: Then knows what will happen if. But that does not mean that there is any disposition to do it. That is where the motivational side is missing.

Julia: I think that Professor Quine said the key phrase before and that is when subject is speaking about himself and is not kidding himself reasons and causes would appear to be the same thing even if he is listing and describing the causes whereby he is doing something. And if he is indeed not kidding himself then the two things would be the same. Then we have to talk about the case of somebody falling in love with someone who resembles his mother. He may not be aware of it, then the causes would be a broader set of things than the reasons he gives he would give for his having falling in love with; they may not coincide. So the question is whether he is kidding himself or not, whether he knows himself or not. On the one hand so far as the speaker is speaking about himself, and when we knew some of the ultimate, we can give good reasons, we can describe the contingencies he is following but that doesn’t mean we will be effective.

Quine: If they are effective then there reasons again.

Person B: Ordinarily when a person gives a reason there is a step missing to get from that reason to what we consider to be the cause, you still have take what the person says and do some kind of translation or something to get to the independent variables. Rarely when a person is giving reasons would he state what a scientist would accept as independent variables.

Julia: Well paraphrasing it into technical language.

Person B: Is that always possible?

Julia: If he is not kidding himself, he has given the reason, so long as it satisfies our translation.

Person B: Ok. Now do valid reasons when you are not kidding yourself always translate into a scientific analysis.

Julia: Do you have an example?

Person B: Well when people give purposes when people explain why they do it because of wants, desires, plans, thought and so on. We don’t know that all that can be translated, first of all because we don’t have a complete science, and secondly because nobody has done this.

Julia: Well you would have to review case by case. Maybe we would run into examples which would defy translation.

Person B: It would be odd if people just intuitively know what is going to turn out to be the scientific explanation for why they behave as they do.

Julia: No but very often people do describe the reasons why they do things simply because in the past they have been trained to observe their own behaviour in relation to causes and why did you do it, to whom did you speak. That is where self descriptive repertoire come in.

Person B: Are we saying that contingency shaped behaviour where no rules are involved. Now that behaviour can also have reasons.

Skinner: You can extract them from the contingencies.

Person B: And the person in fact himself after having done the behaviour can give a reason even though the behaviour may have been contingency shaped.

Skinner: Yes and he may continue to use a statement about the contingencies in order to keep himself going.

Person B: Then it becomes rule governed.

Skinner: I use an old example of a medieval blacksmith who discovers how to use the bellows. The bellows are near the fire and he himself discovers just by the contingencies that you may as well go up quickly as there is no air coming out as you are doing that and you don’t down to too fast in order to get a steady flow of air. Then he makes a little poem “Up high down low, up quick and down slow that’s the way to blow”. But then he tells the apprentice the poem. The apprentice is only following the rules; he is doing what he was told to do. The blacksmith is doing it first of all because the fire blows well when he does it this way, then he describes his own behaviour, and that is useful to him.

Quine: In fact this example brings out another complication in this concept. Namely, the apprentice has his reason for working the bellows in the ways that he does it. But it isn’t because he wants to steady the flame, it is because he is following the blacksmiths rule.

Skinner: No exactly. See now the rule has taken over entirely. The blacksmith does it both ways, he gives himself additional assurances. The redundant cause is to do it the right way and he may find himself getting careless and doing it the wrong way. But the apprentice’s behaviour is entirely governed by the description of the contingencies; the description of behaviour and the consequences. But the blacksmith, I suppose many blacksmiths before there was verbal behaviour, was doing something like that only because of the physical contingencies.

Quine: Now what would we say was the apprentices reason?

Skinner: I wouldn’t want to use reason. I would simply say that a certain kind of behaviour was reinforced by a steady fire.

Quine: I was speaking of the apprentice.

Skinner: Oh the apprentice. You have to give him a reason. The point is you can tell him that he now knows how to blow. But it isn’t going to do him any good. Knowing how is not enough you have got to give him a reason. You signed a contract in the old days and if you didn’t do it you got a beating.

Julia: I guess that’s Quine is getting at, why should he be doing it?

Quine: And that beating may never have been verbalised.

Skinner: That’s true. I don’t mean to say that there was anything that was not reinforced.

Quine: What I am worried about now is that here we have something that we would like to call a reason, namely the apprentice blows the bellows the way he does so he won’t be punished and that’s his reason. But that never did get into words. So verbalisation is not a necessary condition of something being a reason.

Skinner: No but what he is doing is; doing as directed with words, imitation would have been enough. With imitation you wouldn’t need words to demonstrate. But if you are writing it and you can’t demonstrate you have got to use words and then were getting into words. But you always have to take imitation as a special case where you induce someone to behave for your reasons, not for his, until his reasons take over. I am using ‘reasons’ wrong again there…this is very confusing…

Person B: There is another aspect to this every time he does it wrong you could whip him. So that again wouldn’t respond to the fire he would respond to the whip.

Skinner: Well you could of course do this by shaping up his behaviour. He is hungry and you have bits of food, he wonders around and when he puts his hand on the bellows you give him bits of food. And then you do it again… you could eventually shape this up, you could do this in a monkey for example without words at all. And that would be now just getting someone doing what you wanted him to do without resorting of the contingencies; fire, bellows etc.

Second Section the practical consequences of understanding motivation and reasons

This section is a discussion of the consequences of Skinner and Quine’s take on rule-following and motivation to practical problems in environmentalism, ethics, etc.

Third Section a discussion of forms of philosophical discourse: the dialogue, the essay etc.

In this section they discuss philosophy, poetry, and the effect of form on philosophical reasoning.


Published by: unknown
Source: The Quine/Skinner discussion.
Language: English
Tags: #bfskinner #behavior #behaviorism #behaviorology

HOUR 25: An Interview with Jack Catran by Mike Hodel (1982)

In this recording of the KPFK radio program HOUR 25 with host Mike Hodel broadcasted on August 13, 1982 guest Jack Catran demonstrates how unusual scientific thinking was then, and probably still is today, even among people who are actually interested in science. Catran doesn't pay much attention to the feelings of the callers to the radio broadcast, but simply relays the scientific facts.

Thus, on the one hand, as a neutral listener, you realize how important it is in conversations to get involved with the value system of the person you are talking to, but on the other hand, it also becomes clear that human beings are not capable of rational thought without special training. And last but not least, one also learns something about the basics of scientific thinking.


Produced by: KPFK
Source: unknown
Language: English
Tags: #bfskinner #behavior #behaviorism #behaviorology

Jenseits von Freiheit und Würde

Skinner, B. F. Jenseits von Freiheit und Würde. Übersetzt von Edwin Ortmann, Rowohlt Verlag GmbH, 1973.

In seinem höchst beunruhigenden und provokativen Buch hat B. F. Skinner aus Methoden und Resultaten seiner jahrzehntelangen Forschungsarbeit die Summe gezogen und darauf eine Analyse von Zustand und Zukunft der Gesellschaft und des einzelnen Menschen aufgebaut. Die Krise, in der sich die Weltzivilisation befindet, kann nur überwunden werden, wenn das Verhalten des Menschen von Grund auf neu motiviert wird. Die einzige Überlebenschance sieht Skinner in einer radikalen Revision der geheiligten Ideale von Freiheit und Würde. Diese machtvoll wirksamen Wertvorstellungen haben in der Geschichte stets eine wesentliche Rolle gespielt beim Kampf des Menschen gegen Tyrannei, Despotie und andere Formen autoritärer Herrschaft. Obwohl Skinner ihre wichtige historische Funktion durchaus sieht, gibt er den nahezu religiös verehrten Dogmen von Freiheit und Würde die Hauptschuld an dem gefährlichen Götzenkult, in welchem mittlerweile der Idee vom autonomen Menschen gehuldigt wird. Freiheit und Würde sind Tabus, ihre kritiklose Verinnerlichung hat schwerwiegende Folgen, vor allem weil sie uns an der hergebrachten Bestrafungsethik festhalten lassen und so die Entwicklung einer effektiveren kulturellen Praxis vereiteln.


Published by: Rowohlt Verlag GmbH
Source: unknown
Language: German
Tags: #bfskinner #behavior #behaviorism #behaviorology

Wissenschaft und menschliches Verhalten

Skinner, B. F. Wissenschaft und menschliches Verhalten. Übersetzt von Edwin Ortmann, Kindler Verlag, 1973.

Mit diesem Band erscheint B. F. Skinners berühmt gewordenes Hauptwerk, ein Markstein in der Entwicklung der naturwissenschaftlichen Analyse des menschlichen Verhaltens, endlich auch in deutscher Sprache. Nicht genug, daß B. F. Skinner darin die Grundbegriffe des Verhaltens definiert: quantifizierbare Variablen, die das Verhalten steuern, den bedingten Reflex und die Konditionierung, Erzeugung, Aufrechterhaltung »operanten«, auf die Umwelt wirkenden Verhaltens, Verhaltensformung. Er überträgt hier erstmals die lerntheoretischen Ergebnisse aus Tierexpermenten in umfassender Weise auf das menschliche Verhalten. Indem er den Effekt von Deprivation und Sättigung bei Verhaltensprognose und -steuerung demonstriert, zeigt er, daß beim Aufbau positiven Verhaltens, bei Aberglauben, Angst, Aversion, Vermeidung und Strafe die Verstärkung von Verhalten bzw. der Entzug der Verstärkung die zentrale Rolle spielt. Aber Skinner geht weiter: Wie weit, so fragt er, gehen die Möglichkeiten einer »Wissenschaft des menschlichen Verhaltens«? Was hat sie traditionsgeleiteten Verhaltensnormen entgegenzusetzen? Verspricht uns eine umfassende humane Verhaltensanalyse eine hellere, vernünftigere Zukunft, und wiewird Verhalten in Erziehung, Gesetzgebung, Wirtschaft, durch politische Praktiken und bei Meinungsumfragen gesteuert? Skinners Werk ist unerläßlich für alle, die Grundlagen der Verhaltensanalyse aus erster Quelle beziehen und die Folgerungen der Theorie kennenlernen wollen, die in der Verhaltenstherapie schrittweise realisiert wird.


Published by: Kindler Verlag GmbH
Source: unknown
Language: German
Tags: #bfskinner #behavior #behaviorism #behaviorology

Learning (1971)

This informative, imaginative film explores a wide range of human and animal behavior. It opens with a definition of species-specific behavior and then shows some of the more humorous attempts of man to fly like a bird and swim like afish. It discusses sign stimuli research involving gulls, and illustrates the basic paradigm of experiments performed by Hess on the imprinting of ducks. It shows an infant learning to control the movement of a doll through a conjugate reinforcement procedure.

The basic principles of classical conditioning are dramatized in a clever vignette produced in the form of an old silent movie. The concepts of conditioning, reinforcement, stimulus generalization, and extinction are all illustrated in an entertaining and memorable way. An interview with Richard Malott helps to clarify the distinction between classical and operant conditioning. Here the basic principles of operant conditioning are demonstrated with the shaping of a rat's behavior in a Skinner box and also with an animated sequence that satirizes the shaping of political rhetoric.

The efficcy of tangible reinforcers for influencing behavior is demonstrated by showing a child with severe learning disabilities who receives tokens on successful trials of a learning task and exchanges the tokens for a reward. Tangible reinforcers are also used to train a pigeon to differentiate between pictures of people and pictures of
objects.

The film deals with the use of aversive stimuli as well. Nathan Azrin discusses the effectiveness and the consequences of aversive conditioning while the viewer watches scenes of prisoners in San Quentin and of two rats that become more and more aggressive toward each other as they are punished with electric shocks. After a brief comment from B. F. Skinner about the cultural implications of conditioning, the film concludes with a rather cursory view of David McClelland's work on achievement motivation.

The film is probably best suited for students who already have some familiarity with the most basic concepts of classical and operant conditioning. The amount of terminology and the rate of development would seem to be too much for those students lacking any such familiarity. While the film does not attempt to deal with the cognitive family of learning theories or to explore in much depth the influence of motivation on learning, it does an excellent job of developing and refining the essential concepts of conditioning. It also shows important applications of learning principles in a wide range of behaviors, and it does so in a lively, engaging format.

Shows experiments in learning. B.F. Skinner and Richard Malott deal with operant conditioning. Nathan Azrin demonstrates aversive conditioning. Jack Hailman deals with sign-stimuli, and G.P. Baerends demonstrates super-normal conditioning. Explains the work of David McClelland on motivation training, and the work of Lewis Lipsitt on infant learning.

Carroll, J. G. (1976). A Rare Learning Experience. Teaching of Psychology, 3(1), 44–44. doi:10.1207/s15328023top0301_12


Produced by: CRM Productions/CRM Educational Films
Published by: McGraw-Hill Film
Source: unknown
Language: English
Tags: #bfskinner #behavior #behaviorism #behaviorology

Cognition, Creativity and Behavior - The Columban Simulations (1982)

Psychologists Epstein and Skinner in a classic classroom film originally released in 1982 and dubbed "best film of the year" by the American Psychological Association. In sometimes stunning footage, the film shows that pigeons, with the right training, can behave in ways that appear to demonstrate advanced human phenomena: self-awareness, insight, problem solving, imitation, symbolic communication, and even the use of a memorandum. The film defends a "behavioristic" interpretation of cognitive phenomena. For more information, visit http://DrEpstein.com. For technical information about the research, see Dr. Epstein's book "Cognition, Creativity, and Behavior: Selected Essays" or individual scientific papers available at his website.

Documents experiments carried out by B.F. Skinner and Robert Epstein in which pigeons exhibit behaviors heretofore attributed by psychologists only to man and the higher apes, such as symbolic communication, self-awareness, and insight.


Produced by: Research Press
Source: unknown
Language: English
Topics: B.F. Skinner, Robert Epstein, Behavior, Behaviorism, Behaviorology
Tags: #bfskinner #behavior #behaviorism #behaviorology