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B.F Skinner's Behaviour Theory

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Emily Putz

on 4 October 2013

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Transcript of B.F Skinner's Behaviour Theory

B.F Skinner's Behaviour Theory
Who is B.F Skinner?
Educational Background
- B.F Skinner went to Harvard University and Hamilton College

- Taught at: University of Minnesota, Indiana University, and Harvard University

- At Harvard he was a professor of psychology from 1958 until his retirement in 1974

- Fields: Psychology, linguistics, and philosophy

- Noble awards: National Medal of Science (1968)
- While teaching at Minnesota he trained pigeons to serve as guides for bombing runs during WWII

- He got a professorship in 1948 at Indiana University

- He earned his B.A in English and hoped to be a writer, but watching his children he became interested in observing
Fun Facts
-The Skinner box was a chamber that contains a bar or key that an animal can press to receive food or water as reinforcement

-Used to study behaviour in a controlled environment
The Skinner Box
- In 1943 Skinner built a new type of crib for his daughter

- The crib was to meet the needs of the development of the child and also to help the parents in raising the infant

- The crib was temperature controlled and air regulated

- The crib was taller than normal cribs at the time to prevent accidents and the parents from having to bend over to grab the child
Air Crib
Skinner founded behaviourism and made important contributions to behaviour modification. We study behaviour instead of mental events, and looking at the cause of the action. Also the consequences are the best way to understand behaviour.
He observed that babies through their first 12 months:
Are unpredictably hungry
have difficulty with sleep
cry when left alone
are upset by strange noises and places
show fear with strangers
protest when their play is stopped
fall unexpectectly
Toddlers through ages 1-3 years are:
always on the move
have difficulty with sleep
resists dressing
have random temper tantrums
hard to discipline
will not share
will hit/bite
cry when left with new sitter
Children through ages 3-6 are/have:
high energy
always on the move
emotionally intense
resists getting in the car seat
Five Facts Regarding Child Behaviour
2. There is always a reason for problem behaviour
Children may have problems communicating because they may not know how to describe what they're feeling.

Problem behaviour may include:
getting someone's attention ina negative way
stopping an activity they did not enjoy
getting fussy when tired
ie. being hungry, scared, hurt, tired, bored, wet, sad, angry, etc.
Kids may involve themselves in destructive behaviour because they enjoy the physical sensation.
ie. punching things, pulling, pushing, etc.
5. Children's challenging behaviour can be reduced with support, not punishment
When children feel respected and have their needs met, there will be no reason to use challenging behaviour to communicate.
Yelling, or punishing a child will only stop it for the moment.
When parents use anger to discipline, it is sending the message that anger is a good way to solve a problem.
Good discipline tips:
reward good behaviour
be clear about rules
neutralize arguments
buy yourself time
be consistent about rules
model good behaviour
Skinner believed that an understanding of child behaviour is essential because it allows one to fully appreciate emotional, physical, social, and educational growth that children go through from birth to adulthood.
" A failure is not always a mistake, it may simply be the best one can do under the circumstances, the real mistake is to stop trying" B.F Skinner.
- Born March 20, 1904 in Pennsylvania U.S
- Death was August 18, 1990 (age 86)
- Burrhus Frederic (B.F) Skinner is an American psychologist, behaviourist, author, inventor, and
social philosopher.

- He was an influential theorist in child
development in the sense that he studied
children's behaviour.

ie. An infant will cry if it is hungry or wet. Children are communicating through their behaviour during every moment of every day.
1. All behaviour is a form of communication
Through experience, parents will begin to understand what emotion and action represents.
Parenting will become much easier when they learn their children.
4. Adults need to understand and interpret the child's challenging behaviour
3. There may be reasons behind one specific behaviour
Children are sending the message that something is not right or their needs are not being met.

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