Strengths and Weakness




Importance to psychology and the zeitgeist of his time

Ideas compared to Rogers and Freud











With a psychologist as radical as Skinner, there will always be people to criticize. Some have found that Skinners theories are full of strengths, and others have found many weaknesses.


  • He developed some key ideas that are widely used today.

  •  He changed the way people look at things that are observable.

  •  People are more aware of how to control behavior which has become very important in parenting techniques.

  •  Skinner really worked towards making psychology as scientific as possible, and tried not to bias research.

  • Skinner made behaviorism more widely known.


  • Enforced that people should stick to experimental observations but in Beyond Freedom and Dignity  he used assumptions, not just what he observed.
  • Some have thought that Skinnerís theories treat people as if they were the animals that he began studying. Some also say he treats them like objects to be controlled.       
  • A big weakness in his theory of operant conditioning is the fact that is does not always work. Sometimes the behavior has not really been stopped, do to positive reinforcement. The person could be pretending they have stopped the behavior just to receive the reward.

  • Skinner also did not allow much room for other perspectives in his theories. He was a radical behaviorist, and very closed off to other ways of looking at things.


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