ga('create', 'UA-68545306-1', 'auto'); ga('send', 'pageview');

Product Categories

These titles are offered through Amazon.com:

Beyond Freedom and Dignity Available in paperback


Science and Human Behavior Available in paperback


Principles of Psychology Available in paperback

We need your input!

BFSF has a PDF of Science and Human Behavior by Skinner as a free download in English. What other languages shall we translate it into and distribute for free?

How do you read your books?

How do you prefer to read your books?

B. F. Skinner Foundation

About B. F. Skinner Foundation

This author has not yet filled in any details.
So far B. F. Skinner Foundation has created 380 entries.

About Behaviorism, Chapter 1: The Causes of Behavior?, Quote 19

“For purposes of casual discourse, I see no reason to avoid such an expression as “I have chosen to discuss . . .” (though I question the possibility of free choice), or “I have in mind . . .” (though I question the existence of a mind), or “I am aware of this fact […]

By |February 14th, 2017|Skinner's Quote of the Day|Comments Off on About Behaviorism, Chapter 1: The Causes of Behavior?, Quote 19|

About Behaviorism, Chapter 1: The Causes of Behavior?, Quote 18

“. . . it is impossible to engage in casual discourse without raising the ghosts of mentalistic theories. The role of the environment was discovered very late, and no popular vocabulary has yet emerged.” (p. 22)

Subscribe to RSS feed here

By |February 13th, 2017|Skinner's Quote of the Day|Comments Off on About Behaviorism, Chapter 1: The Causes of Behavior?, Quote 18|

About Behaviorism, Chapter 1: The Causes of Behavior?, Quote 17

“To spend much time on exact redefinition of consciousness, will, wishes, sublimation, and so on would be as unwise as for physicists to do the same for ether, phlogiston, or vis viva.” (21)

Subscribe to RSS feed here

By |February 10th, 2017|Skinner's Quote of the Day|Comments Off on About Behaviorism, Chapter 1: The Causes of Behavior?, Quote 17|

About Behaviorism, Chapter 1: The Causes of Behavior?, Quote 16

“I consider scores, if not hundreds, of examples of mentalistic usage. They are taken from current writing, but I have not cited the sources . . . (I express my regrets if the authors would have preferred to be given credit, but I have applied the Golden Rule and have done unto others what […]

By |February 9th, 2017|Skinner's Quote of the Day|Comments Off on About Behaviorism, Chapter 1: The Causes of Behavior?, Quote 16|

About Behaviorism, Chapter 1: The Causes of Behavior?, Quote 15

“One writer has recently said that “mere speculation which cannot be put to the test of experimental verification does not form part of science,” but if that were true, a great deal of astronomy, for example, or atomic physics would not be science. Speculation is necessary, in fact, to devise methods which will bring […]

By |February 8th, 2017|Skinner's Quote of the Day|Comments Off on About Behaviorism, Chapter 1: The Causes of Behavior?, Quote 15|

About Behaviorism, Chapter 1: The Causes of Behavior?, Quote 14

“Much of the argument goes beyond the established facts. I am concerned with interpretation rather than prediction and control. Every scientific field has a boundary beyond which discussion, though necessary, cannot be as precise as one would wish.” (p. 21)

Subscribe to RSS feed here

By |February 7th, 2017|Skinner's Quote of the Day|Comments Off on About Behaviorism, Chapter 1: The Causes of Behavior?, Quote 14|

About Behaviorism, Chapter 1: The Causes of Behavior?, Quote 13

“When what a person does i[s] attributed to what is going on inside him, investigation is brought to an end. Why explain the explanation? For twenty-five hundred years people have been preoccupied with feelings and mental life, but only recently has any interest been shown in a more precise analysis of the role of […]

By |February 6th, 2017|Skinner's Quote of the Day|Comments Off on About Behaviorism, Chapter 1: The Causes of Behavior?, Quote 13|

About Behaviorism, Chapter 1: The Causes of Behavior?, Quote 12

“The environment made its first great contribution during the evolution of the species, but it exerts a different kind of effect during the lifetime of the individual, and the combination of the two effects is the behavior we observe at any given time.” (p. 19)

Subscribe to RSS feed here

By |February 3rd, 2017|Skinner's Quote of the Day|Comments Off on About Behaviorism, Chapter 1: The Causes of Behavior?, Quote 12|

About Behaviorism, Chapter 1: The Causes of Behavior?, Quote 11

“An organism behaves as it does because of its current structure, but most of this is out of reach of introspection. At the moment we must content ourselves, as the methodological behaviorist insists, with a person’s genetic and environmental histories. What are introspectively observed are certain collateral products of those histories.” (p. 19)

Subscribe to […]

By |February 2nd, 2017|Skinner's Quote of the Day|Comments Off on About Behaviorism, Chapter 1: The Causes of Behavior?, Quote 11|

About Behaviorism, Chapter 1: The Causes of Behavior?, Quote 10

“Radical behaviorism restores some kind of balance. It does not insist upon truth by agreement and can therefore consider events taking place in the private world within the skin. It does not call these events unobservable, and it does not dismiss them as subjective. It simply questions the nature of the object observed and […]

By |February 1st, 2017|Skinner's Quote of the Day|Comments Off on About Behaviorism, Chapter 1: The Causes of Behavior?, Quote 10|

About Behaviorism, Chapter 1: The Causes of Behavior?, Quote 9

“Radical behaviorism . . . does not deny the possibility of self-observation or self-knowledge or its possible usefulness, but it questions the nature of what is felt or observed and hence known. It restores introspection but not what philosophers and introspective psychologists had believed they were “specting,” and it raises the question of how […]

By |January 31st, 2017|Skinner's Quote of the Day|Comments Off on About Behaviorism, Chapter 1: The Causes of Behavior?, Quote 9|

About Behaviorism, Chapter 1: The Causes of Behavior?, Quote 8

“Most methodological behaviorists granted the existence of mental events while ruling them out of consideration.” (p. 17)

Subscribe to RSS feed here

By |January 30th, 2017|Skinner's Quote of the Day|Comments Off on About Behaviorism, Chapter 1: The Causes of Behavior?, Quote 8|

About Behaviorism, Chapter 1: The Causes of Behavior?, Quote 7

“It is so easy to observe feelings and states of mind at a time and place which make them seem like causes that we are not inclined to inquire further. Once the environment begins to be studied, however, its significance cannot be denied.” (pp. 15-16)

Subscribe to RSS feed here

By |January 27th, 2017|Skinner's Quote of the Day|Comments Off on About Behaviorism, Chapter 1: The Causes of Behavior?, Quote 7|

About Behaviorism, Chapter 1: The Causes of Behavior?, Quote 6

“The quickest way to [avoid the mentalistic problem] is to confine oneself to what an early behaviorist, Max Meyer, called the “psychology of the other one”: consider only those facts which can be objectively observed in the behavior of one person in relation to his environmental history.” (p. 14)

Subscribe to RSS feed here

By |January 26th, 2017|Skinner's Quote of the Day|Comments Off on About Behaviorism, Chapter 1: The Causes of Behavior?, Quote 6|

About Behaviorism, Chapter 1: The Causes of Behavior?, Quote 5

“Structuralism or developmentalism do not tell us why customs are followed, why people vote as they do or display attitudes or traits of character, or why different languages have common features. Time or age cannot be manipulated; we can only wait for a person or a culture to pass through a developmental period.” (pp. […]

By |January 25th, 2017|Skinner's Quote of the Day|Comments Off on About Behaviorism, Chapter 1: The Causes of Behavior?, Quote 5|

About Behaviorism, Chapter 1: The Causes of Behavior?, Quote 4

“A kind of prediction is possible on the principle that what people have often done they are likely to do again; they follow customs because it is customary to follow them, they exhibit voting or buying habits, and so on.” (p. 13)

Subscribe to RSS feed here

By |January 24th, 2017|Skinner's Quote of the Day|Comments Off on About Behaviorism, Chapter 1: The Causes of Behavior?, Quote 4|

About Behaviorism, Chapter 1: The Causes of Behavior?, Quote 3

“. . . the major difficulties are practical: we cannot anticipate what a person will do by looking directly at his feelings or his nervous system, nor can we change his behavior by changing his mind or his brain.” (p. 12)

Subscribe to RSS feed here

By |January 23rd, 2017|Skinner's Quote of the Day|Comments Off on About Behaviorism, Chapter 1: The Causes of Behavior?, Quote 3|

About Behaviorism, Chapter 1: The Causes of Behavior?, Quote 2

“The person with whom we are most familiar is ourself; many of the things we observe just before we behave occur within our body, and it is easy to take them as the causes of our behavior.” (pp. 10-11)

Subscribe to RSS feed here

By |January 20th, 2017|Skinner's Quote of the Day|Comments Off on About Behaviorism, Chapter 1: The Causes of Behavior?, Quote 2|

About Behaviorism, Chapter 1: The Causes of Behavior?, Quote 1

“Why do people behave as they do? It was probably first a practical question: How could a person anticipate and hence prepare for what another person would do? Later it would become practical in another sense: How could another person be induced to behave in a given way?” (p. 10)

Subscribe to RSS feed here

By |January 19th, 2017|Skinner's Quote of the Day|Comments Off on About Behaviorism, Chapter 1: The Causes of Behavior?, Quote 1|

About Behaviorism, Introduction, Quote 11

“The major problems facing the world today can be solved only if we improve our understanding of human behavior. Traditional views have been around for centuries, and I think it is fair to say that they have proved to be inadequate.” (pp. 8-9)

Subscribe to RSS feed here

By |January 18th, 2017|Skinner's Quote of the Day|Comments Off on About Behaviorism, Introduction, Quote 11|

About Behaviorism, Introduction, Quote 10

“Unfortunately, very little is known about this analysis outside the field. Its most active investigators, and there are hundreds of them, seldom make any efforts to explain themselves to nonspecialists. As a result, few people are familiar with the scientific underpinnings of what, I believe, is the most cogent statement of the behavioristic position.” […]

By |January 17th, 2017|Skinner's Quote of the Day|Comments Off on About Behaviorism, Introduction, Quote 10|

About Behaviorism, Introduction, Quote 9

“The criticisms listed above [on pp. 4-5] are most effectively answered by a special discipline, which has come to be called the experimental analysis of behavior. The behavior of individual organisms is studied in carefully controlled environments, and the relation between behavior and environment then formulated.” (p. 8)

Subscribe to RSS feed here

By |January 16th, 2017|Skinner's Quote of the Day|Comments Off on About Behaviorism, Introduction, Quote 9|

About Behaviorism, Introduction, Quote 8

“I believe the explanation [why behaviorism is still so seriously misunderstood] is this: the science itself is misunderstood.” (p. 8)

Subscribe to RSS feed here

By |January 13th, 2017|Skinner's Quote of the Day|Comments Off on About Behaviorism, Introduction, Quote 8|

About Behaviorism, Introduction, Quote 7

“Much is at stake in the way in which we look at ourselves, and a behavioristic formulation certainly calls for some disturbing changes”. (p. 7)

Subscribe to RSS feed here

By |January 12th, 2017|Skinner's Quote of the Day|Comments Off on About Behaviorism, Introduction, Quote 7|

About Behaviorism, Introduction, Quote 6

“[Watson’s] new science was also, so to speak, born prematurely. Very few scientific facts about behavior—particularly human behavior—were available . . . Among the behavioral facts at hand were reflexes and conditioned reflexes, and Watson made the most of them, but the reflex suggested a push-pull type of causality not incompatible with the nineteenth-century […]

By |January 11th, 2017|Skinner's Quote of the Day|Comments Off on About Behaviorism, Introduction, Quote 6|

About Behaviorism, Introduction, Quote 5

“Watson himself had made important observations of instinctive behavior and was, indeed one of the first ethologists in the modern spirit, but he was greatly impressed by new evidence of what an organism could learn to do, and he made some rather extreme claims about the potential of a newborn human infant.” (p. 6)

Subscribe […]

By |January 10th, 2017|Skinner's Quote of the Day|Comments Off on About Behaviorism, Introduction, Quote 5|

About Behaviorism, Introduction, Quote 4

“The first explicit behaviorist was John B. Watson, who in 1913 issued a kind of manifesto called Psychology as the Behaviorist Views It. As the title shows, he was not proposing a new science but arguing that psychology should be redefined as the study of behavior. This may have been a strategic mistake.” (p. […]

By |January 9th, 2017|Skinner's Quote of the Day|Comments Off on About Behaviorism, Introduction, Quote 4|

About Behaviorism, Introduction, Quote 3

“Human behavior is the most familiar feature of the world in which people live, and more must have been said about it than about any other thing; how much of what has been said is worth saving?” (p. 3)

Subscribe to RSS feed here

By |January 6th, 2017|Skinner's Quote of the Day|Comments Off on About Behaviorism, Introduction, Quote 3|

About Behaviorism, Introduction, Quote 2

“Some of the questions [behaviorism] asks are these: Is such a science really possible? Can it account for every aspect of human behavior? What methods can it use? Are its laws as valid as those of physics and biology? Will it lead to a technology, and if so, what role will it play in […]

By |January 5th, 2017|Skinner's Quote of the Day|Comments Off on About Behaviorism, Introduction, Quote 2|

About Behaviorism, Introduction, Quote 1

“Behaviorism is not the science of human behavior; it is the philosophy of that science.” (p. 3)

Subscribe to RSS feed here

By |January 4th, 2017|Skinner's Quote of the Day|Comments Off on About Behaviorism, Introduction, Quote 1|

Skinner’s Quote of the Day Project starts 2017 with quotes from About Behaviorism

A good tradition of starting on January 4th of the New Year to publish daily quotations from Skinner’s publications continues today. We start 2017 with the first quote from About Behaviorism (Skinner, 1974).

Quotes from B. F. Skinner works, selected by renowned scientists, appear daily Monday-Friday in order, starting with Chapter 1 of each book […]

By |January 4th, 2017|Skinner's Quote of the Day|Comments Off on Skinner’s Quote of the Day Project starts 2017 with quotes from About Behaviorism|

Science and Human Behavior, Chapter 24: Psychotherapy, Quotes 3-5

“By distributing scientific knowledge as widely as possible, we gain some assurance that it will not be impounded by any one agency for its own aggrandizement.” (p. 442)
“Science is not free, either. It cannot interfere with the course of events; it is simply part of that course. It would be quite inconsistent if we […]

By |December 31st, 2016|Skinner's Quote of the Day|Comments Off on Science and Human Behavior, Chapter 24: Psychotherapy, Quotes 3-5|

Science and Human Behavior, Chapter 24: Psychotherapy, Quote 2

“To refuse to accept control, and thus to leave control to other sources, often has the effect of diversifying control. Diversification is another possible solution to our problem.” (p. 440)

Subscribe to RSS feed here

By |December 30th, 2016|Skinner's Quote of the Day|Comments Off on Science and Human Behavior, Chapter 24: Psychotherapy, Quote 2|

Science and Human Behavior, Chapter 24: Psychotherapy, Quote 1

“A demonstration of basic behavioral processes under simplified conditions enables us to see these processes at work in complex cases, even though they cannot be treated rigorously there. If these processes are recognized, the complex case may be more intelligently handled.” (p. 435)

Subscribe to RSS feed here

By |December 29th, 2016|Skinner's Quote of the Day|Comments Off on Science and Human Behavior, Chapter 24: Psychotherapy, Quote 1|

Science and Human Behavior, Chapter 23: Religion, Quote 1

“The power achieved by the religious agency depends upon how effectively certain verbal reinforcements are conditioned—in particular the promise of Heaven and the threat of Hell.” (p. 353)

Subscribe to RSS feed here

By |December 28th, 2016|Skinner's Quote of the Day|Comments Off on Science and Human Behavior, Chapter 23: Religion, Quote 1|

Science and Human Behavior, Chapter 22: Controlling Agencies, Quote 2

“A functional analysis of behavior provides us with a basic conception with which we may approach each of these fields in turn. . . if we can achieve such an account, then a considerable advantage may be claimed over traditional formulations. Not only will our analysis in each case have the support of the […]

By |December 27th, 2016|Skinner's Quote of the Day|Comments Off on Science and Human Behavior, Chapter 22: Controlling Agencies, Quote 2|

Science and Human Behavior, Chapter 22: Controlling Agencies, Quote 1

“The conception developed in one field is seldom applied, and never effectively applied, to another. What the political scientist has to say about man proves to be of little value to the psychotherapist, while the individual who emerges from educational psychology bears no familial resemblance to economic man. It is not likely that the […]

By |December 26th, 2016|Skinner's Quote of the Day|Comments Off on Science and Human Behavior, Chapter 22: Controlling Agencies, Quote 1|

Science and Human Behavior, Chapter 20: Personal Control, Quote 13

“Those who are most concerned with restricting personal control have most to gain from a clear understanding of the techniques employed.” (p. 322)

Subscribe to RSS feed here

By |December 23rd, 2016|Skinner's Quote of the Day|Comments Off on Science and Human Behavior, Chapter 20: Personal Control, Quote 13|

Science and Human Behavior, Chapter 20: Personal Control, Quote 12

“As we have seen, science implies prediction and, insofar as the relevant variables can be controlled, it implies control. We cannot expect to profit from applying the methods of science to human behavior if for some extraneous reason we refuse to admit that our subject matter can be controlled.” (p. 322)

Subscribe to RSS feed […]

By |December 22nd, 2016|Skinner's Quote of the Day|Comments Off on Science and Human Behavior, Chapter 20: Personal Control, Quote 12|

Science and Human Behavior, Chapter 20: Personal Control, Quote 11

“As we have seen, science implies prediction and, insofar as the relevant variables can be controlled, it implies control. We cannot expect to profit from applying the methods of science to human behavior if for some extraneous reason we refuse to admit that our subject matter can be controlled.” (p. 322)

Subscribe to RSS feed […]

By |December 21st, 2016|Skinner's Quote of the Day|Comments Off on Science and Human Behavior, Chapter 20: Personal Control, Quote 11|

Science and Human Behavior, Chapter 20: Personal Control, Quote 10

“. . . control is frequently aversive to the controllee. Techniques based upon the use of force, particularly punishment or the threat of punishment, are aversive by definition, and techniques which appeal to other processes are also objectionable when, as is usually the case, the ultimate advantage to the controller is opposed to the […]

By |December 20th, 2016|Skinner's Quote of the Day|Comments Off on Science and Human Behavior, Chapter 20: Personal Control, Quote 10|

Science and Human Behavior, Chapter 20: Personal Control, Quote 9

“Psychologists, sociologists, and anthropologists usually prefer theories of behavior in which control is minimized or denied, and we shall see that proposed changes in governmental design are usually promoted by pointing to their effect in maximizing freedom.” (p. 321)

Subscribe to RSS feed here

By |December 19th, 2016|Skinner's Quote of the Day|Comments Off on Science and Human Behavior, Chapter 20: Personal Control, Quote 9|

Science and Human Behavior, Chapter 20: Personal Control, Quote 8

“Students of human behavior often avoid the issue of control and even regard it as in bad taste to suggest that deliberate control is ever undertaken.” (pp. 320-321)

Subscribe to RSS feed here

By |December 16th, 2016|Skinner's Quote of the Day|Comments Off on Science and Human Behavior, Chapter 20: Personal Control, Quote 8|

Science and Human Behavior, Chapter 20: Personal Control, Quote 7

“The individual who is able to present a positive reinforcement or withdraw a negative is usually also able to present the negative or withdraw the positive and is therefore able to punish.” (p. 318)

Subscribe to RSS feed here

By |December 15th, 2016|Skinner's Quote of the Day|Comments Off on Science and Human Behavior, Chapter 20: Personal Control, Quote 7|

Science and Human Behavior, Chapter 20: Personal Control, Quote 6

“Negative reinforcement is employed in personal control in the aversive cry of the child and the nuisance value of the behavior of an adult. Control is achieved by making the withdrawal of these aversive stimuli contingent upon the response to be strengthened.” (p. 317)

Subscribe to RSS feed here

By |December 14th, 2016|Skinner's Quote of the Day|Comments Off on Science and Human Behavior, Chapter 20: Personal Control, Quote 6|

Science and Human Behavior, Chapter 20: Personal Control, Quote 5

“The whole field of verbal behavior exemplifies the use of stimuli in personal control. The speaker generates auditory patterns which are effective because of the listener’s history in a given verbal community.” (p. 317)

Subscribe to RSS feed here

By |December 13th, 2016|Skinner's Quote of the Day|Comments Off on Science and Human Behavior, Chapter 20: Personal Control, Quote 5|

Science and Human Behavior, Chapter 20: Personal Control, Quote 4

“The use of force has obvious disadvantages as a controlling technique. It usually requires the sustained attention of the controller. It is almost exclusively concerned with the prevention of behavior, and hence is of little value in increasing the probability of action. It generates strong emotional dispositions to counterattack. It cannot be applied to […]

By |December 12th, 2016|Skinner's Quote of the Day|Comments Off on Science and Human Behavior, Chapter 20: Personal Control, Quote 4|

Science and Human Behavior, Chapter 20: Personal Control, Quote 3

“[The first task of the counselor] is to make sure that the man he is counseling continues to listen and to return for further counsel. If this can be done, other lines of control may then be opened.” (p. 315)

Subscribe to RSS feed here

By |December 9th, 2016|Skinner's Quote of the Day|Comments Off on Science and Human Behavior, Chapter 20: Personal Control, Quote 3|

Science and Human Behavior, Chapter 20: Personal Control, Quote 2

“The kind and extent [of personal control over others] depend upon the personal endowment and skill of the controller. The strong man uses the variables which derive from his strength. The wealthy man resorts to money. The pretty girl uses primary or conditioned sexual reinforcement. The weakling becomes a sycophant. The shrew controls through […]

By |December 8th, 2016|Skinner's Quote of the Day|Comments Off on Science and Human Behavior, Chapter 20: Personal Control, Quote 2|

Science and Human Behavior, Chapter 20: Personal Control, Quote 1

“[In analyzing social interaction,] it is our task to evaluate the various ways in which one person controls another.” (p. 313)

Subscribe to RSS feed here

By |December 7th, 2016|Skinner's Quote of the Day|Comments Off on Science and Human Behavior, Chapter 20: Personal Control, Quote 1|