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
He changed the way people look at things that
People are more aware of how to
control behavior which has become very important in parenting
Skinner really worked towards making
psychology as scientific as possible, and tried not to bias
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.