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Premack Principle (Grandma’s Law)

Premack Principle (Grandma’s Law)

The Premack Principle is also known as “Gradmas’s Law.” Parents (and Grandmas) use it naturally all the time. It is the principle that offering something that happens often in a free operant situation to be contingent upon something else that happens with low frequency. So, for example, “You can watch television after you have finished your homework.” Or, “You can […]

Quotes by Skinner

Quotes by Skinner

“Education is what survives when what has been learned has been forgotten.” “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.” “The real problem is not whether machines think but whether men do.” “A person who has been punished is not thereby simply […]

Contingency-Shaped vs. Rule-Governed Behavior

Contingency-Shaped vs. Rule-Governed Behavior

In About Behaviorism, B.F. Skinner says, “Rule-following behavior is said to be the veneer of civilization, whereas behavior shaped by natural contingencies comes from the depth of the personality or mind.”  Skinner continues to note, “Doing good because on is reinforced by the good of others (contingency-shaped)  is more highly honored than dong good because the law demands it (rule-governed).” […]

Charles Darwin

Charles Darwin

Charles Darwin (1809-1882) was an English naturalist who developed the theory of biological evolution.  Biological evolution states that species develop and change over time through a series small variances that increase the species likelihood of survival and reproduction.  These small variances are passed down from one generation to the next with the variances that give the most competitive advantage expressing […]

Selectionism (Phylogenic, Ontogenic, Cultural)

Selectionism (Phylogenic, Ontogenic, Cultural)

B. F. Skinner said that there are 3 ways that the environment can apply itself upon a living being:  Phylogenic, Ontogenic and Cultural. Phylogenic:  Natural evolution of a species (aka Darwinism).  By a natural process of survival characteristics, each generation is passed characteristics by its predecessors.  Phylogenics is a discipline in biology that is the study of the evolutionary history […]

Lawfulness of Behavior

Lawfulness of Behavior

The application of behavioral techniques requires that the practitioner subscribe to a deterministic philosophy that behavior in and of itself is lawful. (FK-01)  The lawful nature of behavior means that all behavior is caused by environmental, external events and is entirely predictable.  This means that behavior in the world has a cause and is not by accident.  Behavior is not […]