The B. F. Skinner Foundation is the Primary Resource for Information About B. F. Skinner and His Heritage
Thanks to all the people who have supported us through contributions and volunteer work, the B. F. Skinner Foundation is entering its 30th year of operations. Sustained support from people like you enables us to continue pursuing the ultimate goal – preserving B. F. Skinner’s heritage in challenging times. The Foundation is independent. This is important because it enables you to hear Skinner’s voice, understand his ideas, and appreciate his influence in the purest form, without any distortions. Your support means we can continue bringing Skinner’s science and its applications to the world.
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B. F. Skinner Foundation is a publisher of behavioral books
Established in 1988, the B. F. Skinner Foundation promotes the science founded by B. F. Skinner and supports the practices derived from that science. The Foundation advances the understanding that a more humane world is achieved by replacing coercive techniques with positive procedures. We connect scholars, students, and the general public through our magazine, Operants. The Foundation's online and physical archives have a wealth of material from Skinner’s literary estate, from donations by his colleagues and students, and by family members. The Foundation promotes the new research and continues to maintain contact with professionals and students worldwide who are former students, or colleagues of B. F. Skinner or individuals interested in his work. The Foundation is also the prime contact for permissions for reproducing Skinner material or for translations of Skinner’s works.
B.F. (Burrhus Frederic) Skinner (March 20, 1904 – August 18, 1990) remains America’s most influential behavioral scientist. Skinner researched continuous actions to see what determined their frequency. With rate as a measure of probability, he discovered that control over actions lay in their consequences. Unlike respondent conditioning where Pavlov demonstrated control by antecedent events, Skinner showed that for all other behavior control lies in postcedent events. He called this class of behavior “operant”. Skinner’s discovery initiated a new science based on the relation between actions and their immediate results. He initiated the procedure of shaping, demonstrated the effects of schedules of reinforcement, and extended his analysis to verbal behavior. Thousands of researchers and practitioners have expanded the science under the name of behavior analysis.
Interest continues to increase in B. F. Skinner’s works. The sales of his most well-known books continues to grow, due to the documented effectiveness of practices derived from them as well as providing the basis for further scientific exploration. New books and TV programs about Skinner and new translations of his works carry his science forward. Skinner’s entrance into cyberspace via the Skinner Foundation website and Facebook page attracts a steady growth of visitors.
The intellectual tradition of B. F. Skinner continues to influence society in positive ways. Skinner opposed punitive and coercive practices. Instead of sanctions to control misbehavior, he recommended shaping alternative behavior through positive reinforcement. The “shaping” procedures he described provide the foundations of the discipline of behavior analysis. Shaping techniques derived from his scientific formulations have become the gold standard for dealing with behavior problems in a variety of settings. Behavior analytic procedures are widely found in areas as disperse as animal husbandry and training; business and industry; counseling; special education; and behavioral pharmacology. The results of positive practices based upon shaping principle contribute to the welfare of every population with which they are used, from the child in the classroom to the supervisor in a business setting. A significant feature of the underlying science is its ethical implications. B. F. Skinner vigorously argued for treating people in ways that were not only effective, but humane.
later book, Beyond Freedom and Dignity, Skinner reminded his readers that the main problems facing the world, including overpopulation, depletion of resources, and war, all involve human behavior. He argued that a technology of behavior based upon the understanding of scientific principles would help improve any society. Skinner offers alternatives to common coercive practices and challenges his readers to construct a better world through our existing technology of behavior.
Some of the books in our bookstore are Name-Your-Price products. We set the minimum from $0 to $0.99, but the amount you actually pay is up to you. Every dollar you add is a donation that will be used to keep B. F. Skinner’s books in print, convert more works into e-book formats, and provide free access to more and more archival material through our website. Dismiss