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B. F. Skinner

1904 - 1990

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Burrhus Frederic Skinner (March 20, 1904 – August 18, 1990) was an American psychologist, behaviorist, author, inventor, and social philosopher. He was a professor of psychology at Harvard University from 1958 until his retirement in 1974.Considering free will to be an illusion, Skinner saw human action as dependent on consequences of previous actions, a theory he would articulate as the principle of reinforcement: If the consequences to an action are bad, there is a high chance the action will not be repeated; if the consequences are good, the probability of the action being repeated becomes stronger.Skinner developed behavior analysis, especially the philosophy of radical behaviorism, and founded the experimental analysis of behavior, a school of experimental research psychology. He also used operant conditioning to strengthen behavior, considering the rate of response to be the most effective measure of response strength. Read more on Wikipedia

Since 2007, the English Wikipedia page of B. F. Skinner has received more than 4,764,562 page views. His biography is available in 59 different languages on Wikipedia. B. F. Skinner is the 19th most popular psychologist (up from 21st in 2019), the 200th most popular biography from United States (up from 203rd in 2019) and the 6th most popular American Psychologist.

B. F. Skinner is most famous for his operant conditioning, which is a type of behaviorism. This theory is based on the idea that behavior is shaped by its consequences.

Memorability Metrics

  • 4.8M

    Page Views (PV)

  • 71.57

    Historical Popularity Index (HPI)

  • 59

    Languages Editions (L)

  • 9.01

    Effective Languages (L*)

  • 3.69

    Coefficient of Variation (CV)

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Among psychologists, B. F. Skinner ranks 19 out of 183Before him are Viktor Frankl, Carl Rogers, Gustave Le Bon, Albert Bandura, John B. Watson, and Kurt Lewin. After him are Edward Thorndike, Melanie Klein, Anna Freud, Daniel Kahneman, Wilhelm Reich, and Irvin D. Yalom.

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Among people born in 1904, B. F. Skinner ranks 9Before him are Reinhard Heydrich, Pablo Neruda, Dr. Seuss, Alexei Nikolaevich, Tsarevich of Russia, Cary Grant, and Umberto II of Italy. After him are Jean Gabin, J. Robert Oppenheimer, Johnny Weissmuller, Graham Greene, Alexei Kosygin, and Karl Brandt. Among people deceased in 1990, B. F. Skinner ranks 5Before him are Rajneesh, Lev Yashin, Greta Garbo, and Ava Gardner. After him are Roald Dahl, Louis Althusser, Leonard Bernstein, Alberto Moravia, Norbert Elias, Paulette Goddard, and Sarah Vaughan.

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In United States

Among people born in United States, B. F. Skinner ranks 200 out of 18,182Before him are John Jay (1745), George Lucas (1944), Alec Baldwin (1958), Samuel P. Huntington (1927), Gene Cernan (1934), and Ben Affleck (1972). After him are Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803), Barry White (1944), Henry Fonda (1905), David Rockefeller (1915), Christopher Reeve (1952), and Edward Thorndike (1874).

Among PSYCHOLOGISTS In United States

Among psychologists born in United States, B. F. Skinner ranks 6Before him are Abraham Maslow (1908), John Dewey (1859), William James (1842), Carl Rogers (1902), and John B. Watson (1878). After him are Edward Thorndike (1874), Irvin D. Yalom (1931), Lawrence Kohlberg (1927), Jerome Bruner (1915), Paul Ekman (1934), and Howard Gardner (1943).