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Burrhus Frederic Skinner

When Burrhus Frederic (B. F.) Skinner passed away on August 18, 1990, of leukemia at the age of 86, he left behind a 60-year legacy of research and writing that fundamentally reshaped psychology. Combining the inductive positivism of the 17th-century philosopher Francis Bacon, the pragmatic progressivism of John Dewey and Charles Pierce, the experimental biology of Jacques Loeb, the precision of Ivan Pavlov, and the behaviorism of John B. Watson, Skinner's version of behaviorism remains one of the most conceptually complete and powerful systems in 20th-century psychology. For Skinner, behavior is a lawful and orderly phenomenon that should be studied using the same techniques and measurement systems employed by the other sciences. He insisted that psychological explanations should describe relationships between physical events rather ...

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