B.f Quotes

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We shouldn't teach great books; we should teach a love of reading. Knowing the contents of a few works of literature is a trivial achievement. Being inclined to go on reading is a great achievement.
B.F. Skinner
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
The only geniuses produced by the chaos of society are those who do something about it. Chaos breeds geniuses. It offers a man something to be a genius about.
B.F. Skinner (Walden Two)
Education is what survives when what has been learnt has been forgotten.
B.F. Skinner
A person who has been punished is not thereby simply less inclined to behave in a given way; at best, he learns how to avoid punishment.
B.F. Skinner (Beyond Freedom and Dignity)
The real question is not whether machines think but whether men do. The mystery which surrounds a thinking machine already surrounds a thinking man.
B.F. Skinner (Contingencies Of Reinforcement: A Theoretical Analysis)
No one asks how to motivate a baby. A baby naturally explores everything it can get at, unless restraining forces have already been at work. And this tendency doesn't die out, it's wiped out.
B.F. Skinner (Walden Two)
We are only just beginning to understand the power of love because we are just beginning to understand the weakness of force and aggression.
B.F. Skinner (Walden Two)
Some of us learn control, more or less by accident. The rest of us go all our lives not even understanding how it is possible, and blaming our failure on being born the wrong way.
B.F. Skinner (Walden Two)
What is love except another name for the use of positive reinforcement? Or vice versa.
B.F. Skinner (Walden Two)
A fourth-grade reader may be a sixth-grade mathematician. The grade is an administrative device which does violence to the nature of the developmental process.
B.F. Skinner (Walden Two)
Sometimes a b.f.f makes you go W.T.F but without them we'd all be a little less richer in our lives .
Cecily von Ziegesar (You're the One That I Want (Gossip Girl, #6))
If freedom is a requisite for human happiness, then all that’s necessary is to provide the illusion of freedom.
B.F. Skinner
At this very moment enormous numbers of intelligent men and women of goodwill are trying to build a better world. But problems are born faster than they can be solved.
B.F. Skinner (Walden Two)
It is a surprising fact that those who object most violently to the manipulation of behaviour nevertheless make the most vigorous effort to manipulate minds.
B.F. Skinner (Beyond Freedom and Dignity)
A scientist may not be sure of the answer, but he's often sure he can find one. And that's a condition which is clearly not enjoyed by philosophy.
B.F. Skinner (Walden Two)
The mob rushes in where individuals fear to tread.
B.F. Skinner (Walden Two)
Democracy is the spawn of despotism. And like father, like son. Democracy is power and rule. It's not the will of the people, remember; it's the will of the majority.
B.F. Skinner (Walden Two)
It is not a question of starting. The start has been made. It's a question of what's to be done from now on.
B.F. Skinner (Walden Two)
...not everyone is willing to defend a position of 'not knowing.' There is no virtue in ignorance for its own sake.
B.F. Skinner
We do not choose survival as a value, it chooses us.
B.F. Skinner
Going out of style isn't a natural process, but a manipulated change which destroys the beauty of last year's dress in order to make it worthless.
B.F. Skinner (Walden Two)
A piece of music is an experience to be taken by itself.
B.F. Skinner (Walden Two)
Society attacks early, when the individual is helpless.
B.F. Skinner
Men build society and society builds men.
B.F. Skinner (Walden Two)
Heather Awry (The Archers of Avalon, #2) “Okay, if my B-F-F goes rogue and starts trying to chop me into pieces, I fully expect your immortal hotness to protect me, got it?
Chelsea Fine
But restraint is the only one sort of control, and absence of restraint isn't freedom. It's not control that's lacking when one feels 'free', but the objectionable control of force.
B.F. Skinner (Walden Two)
The consequences of an act affect the probability of its occurring again.
B.F. Skinner
The majority of people don't want to plan. They want to be free of the responsibility of planning. What they ask for is merely some assurance that they will be decently provided for. The rest is a day-to-day enjoyment of life. That's the explanation for your Father Divines; people naturally flock to anyone they can trust for the necessities of life... They are the backbone of a community--solid, trust-worthy, essential.
B.F. Skinner (Walden Two)
Society attacks early, when the individual is helpless. It enslaves him almost before he has tasted freedom. The 'ologies' will tell you how its done Theology calls it building a conscience or developing a spirit of selflessness. Psychology calls it the growth of the superego. Considering how long society has been at it, you'd expect a better job. But the campaigns have been badly planned and the victory has never been secured.
B.F. Skinner (Walden Two)
In the world at large we seldom vote for a principle or a given state of affairs. We vote for a man who pretends to believe in that principle or promises to achieve that state. We don't want a man, we want a condition of peace and plenty-- or, it may be, war and want-- but we must vote for a man.
B.F. Skinner (Walden Two)
The tender sentiment of the 'one and only' has less to do with constancy of heart than with singleness of opportunity.
B.F. Skinner (Walden Two)
Something doing every minute' may be a gesture of despair--or the height of a battle against boredom.
B.F. Skinner (Walden Two)
It is a mistake to suppose that the whole issue is how to free man. The issue is to improve the way in which he is controlled.
B.F. Skinner (Walden Two)
Promising paradise or threatening hell-fire is, we assumed, generally admitted to be unproductive. It is based upon a fundamental fraud which, when discovered, turns the individual against society and nourishes the very thing it tries to stamp out. What Jesus offered in return of loving one's enemies was heaven on earth, better known as peace of mind.
B.F. Skinner (Walden Two)
The real problem is not whether machines think but whether men do.
B.F. Skinner (The Technology of Teaching)
Society already possesses the psychological techniques needed to obtain universal observance of a code -- a code which would guarantee the success of a community or state. The difficulty is that these techniques are in the hands of the wrong people--or, rather, there aren't any right people.
B.F. Skinner (Walden Two)
Each of us has interests which conflict the interests of everybody else... 'everybody else' we call 'society'. It's a powerful opponent and it always wins. Oh, here and there an individual prevails for a while and gets what he wants. Sometimes he storms the culture of a society and changes it to his own advantage. But society wins in the long run, for it has the advantage of numbers and of age.
B.F. Skinner (Walden Two)
Any single historical event is too complex to be adequately known by anyone. It transcends all the intellectual capacities of men. Our practice is to wait until a sufficient number of details have been forgotten. Of course things seem simpler then! Our memories work that way; we retain the facts which are easiest to think about.
B.F. Skinner (Walden Two)
The world's a poor standard. any society which is free of hunger and violence looks bright against that background.
B.F. Skinner (Walden Two)
The amateur doesn't appreciate the need for experimentation. He wants his experts to know.
B.F. Skinner (Walden Two)
Nowadays, everybody fancies himself an expert in government and wants to have a say.
B.F. Skinner (Walden Two)
Freedom is an illusion, but a valuable one.
B.F. Skinner
Fame is also won at the expense of others. Even the well-deserved honors of the scientist or man of learning are unfair to many persons of equal achievements who get none. When one man gets a place in the sun, the others are put in a denser shade. From the point of view of the whole group there's no gain whatsoever, and perhaps a loss.
B.F. Skinner (Walden Two)
I’M LOSING FAITH IN MY FAVORITE COUNTRY Throughout my life, the United States has been my favorite country, save and except for Canada, where I was born, raised, educated, and still live for six months each year. As a child growing up in Waterloo, Ontario, Canada, I aggressively bought and saved baseball cards of American and National League players, spent hours watching snowy images of American baseball and football games on black and white television and longed for the day when I could travel to that great country. Every Saturday afternoon, me and the boys would pay twelve cents to go the show and watch U.S. made movies, and particularly, the Superman serial. Then I got my chance. My father, who worked for B.F. Goodrich, took my brother and me to watch the Cleveland Indians play baseball in the Mistake on the Lake in Cleveland. At last I had made it to the big time. I thought it was an amazing stadium and it was certainly not a mistake. Amazingly, the Americans thought we were Americans. I loved the United States, and everything about the country: its people, its movies, its comic books, its sports, and a great deal more. The country was alive and growing. No, exploding. It was the golden age of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. The American dream was alive and well, but demanded hard work, honesty, and frugality. Everyone understood that. Even the politicians. Then everything changed. Partly because of its proximity to the United States and a shared heritage, Canadians also aspired to what was commonly referred to as the American dream. I fall neatly into that category. For as long as I can remember I wanted a better life, but because I was born with a cardboard spoon in my mouth, and wasn’t a member of the golden gene club, I knew I would have to make it the old fashioned way: work hard and save. After university graduation I spent the first half of my career working for the two largest oil companies in the world: Exxon and Royal Dutch Shell. The second half was spent with one of the smallest oil companies in the world: my own. Then I sold my company and retired into obscurity. In my case obscurity was spending summers in our cottage on Lake Rosseau in Muskoka, Ontario, and winters in our home in Port St. Lucie, Florida. My wife, Ann, and I, (and our three sons when they can find the time), have been enjoying that “obscurity” for a long time. During that long time we have been fortunate to meet and befriend a large number of Americans, many from Tom Brokaw’s “Greatest Generation.” One was a military policeman in Tokyo in 1945. After a very successful business carer in the U.S. he’s retired and living the dream. Another American friend, also a member of the “Greatest Generation”, survived The Battle of the Bulge and lived to drink Hitler’s booze at Berchtesgaden in 1945. He too is happily retired and living the dream. Both of these individuals got to where they are by working hard, saving, and living within their means. Both also remember when their Federal Government did the same thing. One of my younger American friends recently sent me a You Tube video, featuring an impassioned speech by Marco Rubio, Republican senator from Florida. In the speech, Rubio blasts the spending habits of his Federal Government and deeply laments his country’s future. He is outraged that the U.S. Government spends three hundred billion dollars, each and every month. He is even more outraged that one hundred and twenty billion of that three hundred billion dollars is borrowed. In other words, Rubio states that for every dollar the U.S. Government spends, forty cents is borrowed. I don’t blame him for being upset. If I had run my business using that arithmetic, I would be in the soup kitchens. If individual American families had applied that arithmetic to their finances, none of them would be in a position to pay a thin dime of taxes.
Stephen Douglass
In a world of complete economic equality, you get and keep the affections you deserve. You can’t buy love with gifts or favors, you can’t hold love by raising an inadequate child, and you can’t be secure in love by serving as a good scrub woman or a good provider.
B.F. Skinner
B.F. Skinner, the world-famous psychologist, proved through his experiments that an animal rewarded for good behaviour will learn much more rapidly and retain what it learns far more effectively than an animal punished for bad behaviour.
Dale Carnegie (How to Win Friends and Influence People)
The severest trial of oppression is the constant outrage which one suffers at the thought of the oppressor. What Jesus discovered was how to avoid the inner devastations. His technique was to practice the opposite emotion... [a man] may not get his freedom or possessions back, but he's less miserable. It's a difficult lesson.
B.F. Skinner (Walden Two)
Your liberals and radicals all want to govern. They want to try it their way-- to show that people will be happier if the power is wielded in a different way or for different purposes. But how do they know? Have they ever tried it? No, it's merely their guess.
B.F. Skinner (Walden Two)
In a democracy, there is no check against despotism, because the principle of democracy is supposed to be itself a check. But it guarantees only that the majority will not be despotically ruled.
B.F. Skinner (Walden Two)
Severe punishment unquestionably has an immediate effect in reducing a tendency to act in a given way. This result is no doubt responsible for its widespread use. We 'instinctively' attack anyone whose behavior displeases us - perhaps not in physical assault, but with criticism, disapproval, blame, or ridicule. Whether or not there is an inherited tendency to do this, the immediate effect of the practice is reinforcing enough to explain its currency. In the long run, however, punishment does not actually eliminate behavior from a repertoire, and its temporary achievement is obtained at tremendous cost in reducing the over-all efficiency and happiness of the group. (p. 190)
B.F. Skinner (Science and Human Behavior)
Education is what survives when what has been learned has been forgotten.
B.F. Windley
As the behavioral psychologist B. F. Skinner proved in the laboratory, the human mind seeks relationships between events and often finds them even when they are not present. Slot-machines are based on Skinnerian principles of intermittent reinforcement. The dumb human, like the dumb rat, only needs an occasional payoff to keep pulling the handle. The mind will do the rest.
Michael Shermer (Why People Believe Weird Things: Pseudoscience, Superstition, and Other Confusions of Our Time)
Why did colleges make their students take examinations, and why did they give grade? What did a grade really mean? When a student "studied" did he do anything more than read and think-- or was there something special which no one in Walden Two would know about? Why did the professors lecture to the students? Were the students never expected to do anything except answer questions? Was it true that students were made to read books they were not interested in?
B.F. Skinner (Walden Two)
The most effective alternative process [to punishment] is probably extinction. This takes time but is much more rapid than allowing the response to be forgotten. The technique seems to be relatively free of objectionable by-products. We recommend it, for example when we suggest that a parent 'pay no attention' to objectionable behavior on the part of his child. If the child's behavior is strong only because it has been reinforced by 'getting a rise out of' the parent, it will disappear when this consequence is no longer forthcoming. (p. 192)
B.F. Skinner (Science and Human Behavior)
Once in a while a new government initiates a program to put power to better use, but its success or failure never really proves anything. In science, experiments are designed, checked, altered, repeated-- but not in politics... We have no real cumulative knowledge. History tells us nothing. That's the tragedy of a political reformer.
B.F. Skinner (Walden Two)
The final state of affairs may not have been foreseen. Perhaps we are merely reading a plan into the world after the fact.
B.F. Skinner (Walden Two)
Science is human behavior, and so is the opposition to science. What
B.F. Skinner (Beyond Freedom and Dignity (Hackett Classics))
The consequences of behavior determine the probability that the behavior will occur again
B.F. Skinner
Society attacks early when the individual is helpless. —B. F. SKINNER
Robert B. Baer (The Perfect Kill: 21 Laws for Assassins)
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
Mary Frame (Imperfect Chemistry (Imperfect, #1))
B.F. Skinner, the world-famous psychologist, proved through his experiments that an animal rewarded for good behaviour will learn much more rapidly and retain what it learns far more effectively than an animal punished for bad behaviour. Later studies have shown that the same applies to humans. By criticising, we do not make lasting changes and often incur resentment. Hans
Dale Carnegie (How to Win Friends and Influence People)
The hero is a device which the historian has taken over from the layman. He uses it because he has no scientific vocabulary or technique for dealing with the real facts of history-- the opinions, emotions, attitudes; the wishes, plans, schemes; the habits of men. He can't talk about them so he talks about heroes.
B.F. Skinner (Walden Two)
We can achieve a sort of control under which the controlled, though they are following a code much more scrupulously than was ever the case under the old system, nevertheless feel free. They are doing what they want to do, not what they are forced to do. That's the source of the tremendous power of positive reinforcement-- there's no restraint and no revolt. By careful cultural design, we control not the final behavior, but the inclination to behave-- the motives, desires, the wishes.
B.F. Skinner (Walden Two)
In a pre-scientific society the best the common man can do is pin his faith on a leader and give him his support, trusting in his benevolence against the misuse of the delegated power and in his wisdom to govern justly and make war successfully.
B.F. Skinner (Walden Two)
Don’t try to change yourself; change your environment. —B. F. SKINNER
Carl Hart (High Price: A Neuroscientist's Journey of Self-Discovery That Challenges Everything You Know About Drugs and Society)
My 'Great Crown' is not a sentence I could wish for anyone: The dread talons of this monster Wrench a father from his son.
B.F. Chylton (Troubled Princes, Unhappy Heirs)
I wear Lancaster’s red, But this cloaks the truth: My heart remains with York.
B.F. Chylton
What is love but another name for positive reinforcement? —B. F. SKINNER, Walden Two
J.P. Delaney (The Perfect Wife)
There are many ways to generate numerical falsehoods from data, many ways to create proofiness from even valid meaurements. Causuistry distorts the relationships between two sets of numbers. Randumbness creates patterns where none are to be found. Regression to the moon disguises nonsense in mathematical-looking lines or equations or formulae, making even the silliest ideas seem respectable. Such as the one described by this formula: Callipygianness=(S+C)x(B+F)/T-V) Where S is shape, C is circularity, B is bounciness, F ir firmness, T is texture, and V is waist-to-hip ratio. This formula was devised by a team of academic psychologists after many hours of serious research into the female derriere. Yes, indeed. This is supposed to be the formula for the perfect butt. It fact, it's merely a formula for a perfect ass
Charles Seife (Proofiness: The Dark Arts of Mathematical Deception)
I would have been glad to agree to let them all proceed henceforth in complete ignorance of psychology, if they would forget my opinion of chocolate sodas or the story of the amusing episode on a Spanish streetcar.
B.F. Skinner
Compare two people, one of whom has been crippled by an accident, the other by an early environmental history which makes him lazy and, when criticized, mean. Both cause great inconvenience to others, but one dies a martyr, the other a scoundrel.
B.F. Skinner (About Behaviorism)
Neurologically speaking, though, there are reasons we develop a confused sense of priorities when we’re in front of our computer screens. For one thing, email comes at unpredictable intervals, which, as B. F. Skinner famously showed with rats seeking pellets, is the most seductive and habit-forming reward pattern to the mammalian brain. (Think about it: would slot machines be half as thrilling if you knew when, and how often, you were going to get three cherries?) Jessie would later say as much to me when I asked her why she was “obsessed”—her word—with her email: “It’s like fishing. You just never know what you’re going to get.” More to the point, our nervous systems can become dysregulated when we sit in front of a screen. This, at least, is the theory of Linda Stone, formerly a researcher and senior executive at Microsoft Corporation. She notes that we often hold our breath or breathe shallowly when we’re working at our computers. She calls this phenomenon “email apnea” or “screen apnea.” “The result,” writes Stone in an email, “is a stress response. We become more agitated and impulsive than we’d ordinarily be.
Jennifer Senior (All Joy and No Fun: The Paradox of Modern Parenthood)
Twenty-five hundred years ago it might have been said that man understood himself as well as any other part of his world. Today he is the thing he understands least. Physics and biology have come a long way, but there has been no comparable development of anything like a science of human behavior. Greek physics and biology are now of historical interest only (no modern physicist or biologist would turn to Aristotle for help), but the dialogues of Plato are still assigned to students and cited as if they threw light on human behavior. Aristotle could not have understood a page of modern physics or biology, but Socrates and his friends would have little trouble in following most current discussions of human affairs. And as to technology, we have made immense strides in controlling the physical and biological worlds, but our practices in government, education, and much of economics, though adapted to very different conditions, have not greatly improved. We can scarcely explain this by saying that the Greeks knew all there was to know about human behavior. Certainly they knew more than they knew about the physical world, but it was still not much. Moreover, their way of thinking about human behavior must have had some fatal flaw. Whereas Greek physics and biology, no matter how crude, led eventually to modern science, Greek theories of human behavior led nowhere. If they are with us today, it is not because they possessed some kind of eternal verity, but because they did not contain the seeds of anything better.
B.F. Skinner (Beyond Freedom and Dignity (Hackett Classics))
B. F. Skinner, the world-famous psychologist, proved through his experiments that an animal rewarded for good behavior will learn much more rapidly and retain what it learns far more effectively than an animal punished for bad behavior. Later studies have shown that the same applies to humans. By criticizing, we do not make lasting changes and often incur resentment.
Dale Carnegie (How to win friends & influence people)
The will of God is revealed as you listen to the Spirit of God in the Word of God. The precepts and promises of the Bible teach us what to pray. They teach us what grace to ask for and for what work we need strength. On every page of the Bible there is subject matter for prayer. B. F. Westcott, a renowned nineteenth-century English Bible scholar, observed: “The petitions of true disciples are echoes (so to speak) of Christ’s words. As He has spoken so they speak. Their prayer is only some fragment of His teaching transformed into a supplication, and so it will necessarily be heard.”[50]   One way to pray more effectively is to echo God’s Word back to Him as you pray. We align our hearts with His heart as we pray His Words from our hearts.
Archie Parrish (A Simple Way to Pray)
What is referred to as the cognitive revolution in the sciences has gone through several phases. The first phase was marked by the work of Ivan Pavlov, and later by J.B. Watson, who considered psychology to be the science of behaviour, and whose focus was on ‘visibles’, ‘audibles’ and ‘tangibles’. Later, B.F. Skinner asserted that the mind does not exist, and psychology was concerned merely with behaviour dispositions. Mental events were not visible and objective evidence was available only in the realm of publicly observable behaviour. Though the psychologist William James was interested in the study of consciousness, the domination of behavioural psychology meant that it was assumed that such a project did not have any scientific respectability.
Padmasiri De Silva (An Introduction to Buddhist Psychology and Counselling: Pathways of Mindfulness-Based Therapies)
Autonomous man is a device used to explain what we cannot explain in any other way. He has been constructed from our ignorance, and as our understanding increases, the very stuff of which he is composed vanishes. Science does not dehumanize man, it de-homunculizes him, and it must do so if it is to prevent the abolition of the human species. To man qua man we readily say good riddance. Only by dispossessing him can we turn to the real causes of human behaviour. Only then can we turn from the inferred to the observed, from the miraculous to the natural, from the inaccessible to the manipulable.
B.F. Skinner (Beyond Freedom and Dignity)
This is implied in the assertion that a man shows certain behavior because he was “born that way.” To object to this is not to argue that behavior is never determined by hereditary factors. Behavior requires a behaving organism which is the product of a genetic process. Gross differences in the behavior of different species show that the genetic constitution, whether observed in the body structure of the individual or inferred from a genetic history, is important. But the doctrine of “being born that way” has little to do with demonstrated facts. It is usually an appeal to ignorance. “Heredity,” as the layman uses the term, is a fictional explanation of the behavior attributed to it.
B.F. Skinner (Science And Human Behavior)
One may take the line that metaphorical devices are inevitable in the early stages of any science and that although we may look with amusement today upon the “essences,” “forces,” “phlogistons,” and “ethers,” of the science of yesterday, these nevertheless were essential to the historical process. It would be difficult to prove or disprove this. However, if we have learned anything about the nature of scientific thinking, if mathematical and logical researches have improved our capacity to represent and analyze empirical data, it is possible that we can avoid some of the mistakes of adolescence. Whether Freud could have done so is past demonstrating, but whether we need similar constructs in the future prosecution of a science of behavior is a question worth considering.
B.F. Skinner (Critique of Psychoanalytic Concepts and Theories)
This week we'll be learning about key elements of high quality picture books. Using the award winner lists in our course materials, select one picture book and share why it received its award. For example, Abuela is listed in the 100 Picture Books Everyone Should Know. According to Publishers Weekly, this is why it's so good: "In this tasty trip, Rosalba is "always going places" with her grandmother--abuela . During one of their bird-feeding outings to the park, Rosalba wonders aloud, "What if I could fly?" Thus begins an excursion through the girl's imagination as she soars high above the tall buildings and buses of Manhattan, over the docks and around the Statue of Liberty with Abuela in tow. Each stop of the glorious journey evokes a vivid memory for Rosalba's grandmother and reveals a new glimpse of the woman's colorful ethnic origins. Dorros's text seamlessly weaves Spanish words and phrases into the English narrative, retaining a dramatic quality rarely found in bilingual picture books. Rosalba's language is simple and melodic, suggesting the graceful images of flight found on each page. Kleven's ( Ernst ) mixed-media collages are vibrantly hued and intricately detailed, the various blended textures reminiscent of folk art forms. Those searching for solid multicultural material would be well advised to embark.
B.F. Skinner
It is a mistake to suppose that all change or development is growth. The present condition of the earth’s surface is not mature or immature; the horse has not, so far as we know, reached some final and presumably optimal stage in evolutionary development. If a child’s language seems to grow like an embryo, it is only because the environmental contingencies have been neglected. The feral child has no language, not because his isolation has interfered with some growth process, but because he has not been exposed to a verbal community. We have no reason to call any culture mature in the sense that further growth is unlikely or that it would necessarily be a kind of deterioration. We call some cultures underdeveloped or immature in contrast with others we call ‘advanced’, but it is a crude form of jingoism to imply that any government, religion, or economic system is mature. The main objection to the metaphor of growth, in considering either the development of an individual or the evolution of a culture, is that it emphasizes a terminal state which does not have a function. We say that an organism grows toward maturity or in order to reach maturity. Maturity becomes a goal, and progress becomes movement towards a goal. A goal is literally a terminus—the end of something such as a foot race. It has no effect on the race except to bring it to an end. The word is used in this relatively empty sense when we say that the goal of life is death or that the goal of evolution is to fill the earth with life. Death is no doubt the end of life, and a full world may be the end of evolution, but these terminal conditions have no bearing on the processes through which they are reached. We do not live in order to die, and evolution does not proceed in order to fill the earth with life.
B.F. Skinner (Beyond Freedom and Dignity)
Unable to understand how or why the person we see behaves as he does, we attribute his behavior to a person we cannot see, whose behavior we cannot explain either but about whom we are not inclined to ask questions. We probably adopt this strategy not so much because of any lack of interest or power but because of a longstanding conviction that for much of human behavior there are no relevant antecedents. The function of the inner man is to provide an explanation which will not be explained in turn. Explanation stops with him. He is not a mediator between past history and current behavior, he is a center from which behavior emanates. He initiates, originates, and creates, and in doing so he remains, as he was for the Greeks, divine. We say that he is autonomous—and, so far as a science of behavior is concerned, that means miraculous. The position is, of course, vulnerable. Autonomous man serves to explain only the things we are not yet able to explain in other ways. His existence depends upon our ignorance, and he naturally loses status as we come to know more about behavior. The task of a scientific analysis is to explain how the behavior of a person as a physical system is related to the conditions under which the human species evolved and the conditions under which the individual lives. Unless there is indeed some capricious or creative intervention, these events must be related, and no intervention is in fact needed. The contingencies of survival responsible for man’s genetic endowment would produce tendencies to act aggressively, not feelings of aggression. The punishment of sexual behavior changes sexual behavior, and any feelings which may arise are at best by-products. Our age is not suffering from anxiety but from the accidents, crimes, wars, and other dangerous and painful things to which people are so often exposed. Young people drop out of school, refuse to get jobs, and associate only with others of their own age not because they feel alienated but because of defective social environments in homes, schools, factories, and elsewhere. We can follow the path taken by physics and biology by turning directly to the relation between behavior and the environment and neglecting supposed mediating states of mind. Physics did not advance by looking more closely at the jubilance of a falling body, or biology by looking at the nature of vital spirits, and we do not need to try to discover what personalities, states of mind, feelings, traits of character, plans, purposes, intentions, or the other perquisites of autonomous man really are in order to get on with a scientific analysis of behavior.
B.F. Skinner (Beyond Freedom and Dignity (Hackett Classics))
Education is what survives when what has been learned has been forgotten. B F Skinner
G.J. Griffiths
you know: CLOUDY WITH A CHANCE OF HUGS IS THE ENTIRE REASON I EVER ENGAGE IN ANY NARRATIVE, FICTIONAL OR OTHERWISE??
Ryan North (B^F: The Novelization Of The Feature Film)
Δεν πρέπει να διδάσκουμε τα μεγάλα βιβλία, πρέπει να διδάσκουμε την αγάπη για το διάβασμα.
B.F. Skinner
Hey, McFly!" Has Biff returned??  No!  It turns out that Howard, George's neighbour, is there!  And he wants to sell him Girl Scout cookies!
Ryan North (B^F: The Novelization Of The Feature Film)
Theories—whether neural, mental, or conceptual—talk about intervening steps in these relationships. But instead of prompting us to search for and explore relevant variables, they frequently have quite the opposite effect. When we attribute behavior to a neural or mental event, real or conceptual, we are likely to forget that we still have the task of accounting for the neural or mental event. ...Research designed with respect to theory is also likely to be wasteful. That a theory generates research does not prove its value unless the research is valuable. Much useless experimentation results from theories, and much energy and skill is absorbed by them. Most theories are eventually overthrown, and the greater part of the associated research is discarded.
B.F. Skinner
Behavior is a function of the Person in their Environment, or B = f (P,E).3
James Clear (Atomic Habits: An Easy and Proven Way to Build Good Habits and Break Bad Ones)
I did send you her measurements.
Tiffany Nicole Smith (Bex Carter 7: My B.F.F. (Bogus Fake Friend): The Bex Carter Series)
B. F. Skinner, the world-famous psychologist, proved through his experiments that an animal rewarded for good behavior will learn much more rapidly and retain what it learns far more effectively than an animal punished for bad behavior. Later studies have shown that the same applies to humans.
Dale Carnegie (How To Win Friends And Influence People)
Education is what survives when what has been learned has been forgotten. —B. F. Skinner
Edward B. Burger (The 5 Elements of Effective Thinking)
the most habit-forming products and services utilize one or more of the three variable rewards types: the tribe, the hunt, and the self. In fact, many habit-forming products offer multiple variable rewards. E-mail, for example, utilizes all three variable reward types. What subconsciously compels us to check our e-mail? First, there is uncertainty concerning who might be sending us a message. We have a social obligation to respond to e-mails and a desire to be seen as agreeable (rewards of the tribe). We may also be curious about what information is in the e-mail: Perhaps something related to our career or business awaits us? Checking e-mail informs us of opportunities or threats to our material possessions and livelihood (rewards of the hunt). Lastly, e-mail is in itself a task—challenging us to sort, categorize, and act to eliminate unread messages. We are motivated by the uncertain nature of our fluctuating e-mail count and feel compelled to gain control of our in-box (rewards of the self). As B. F. Skinner discovered over fifty years ago, variable rewards are a powerful inducement to repeat actions. Understanding what moves users to return to habit-forming products gives designers an opportunity to build products that align with their interests.
Nir Eyal (Hooked: How to Build Habit-Forming Products)
Carrying this aqueous conception to its breaking point, a wit had once remarked how wonderful it would be if the beak of a Giant Squid were to suddenly break through the rotten floorboards of my kitchen (followed, I assumed, by the tentacles, body, and enraged eyeballs rotating wildly in their sockets). I agreed that such a thing would indeed be wonderful.
B.F. Spath (The Sun Temple)
The general arc of the story seemed to be a growing detachment from reality that had afflicted J.B.F. and some of her inner circle. Luisa likened it to the growth of spiritualism after the First World War. During the 1920s, many who had not been able to bring themselves to accept the loss of life in the trenches and the subsequent influenza epidemic had fallen prey to the belief that they could communicate with their lost loved ones from beyond the grave. They had, in effect, sidestepped grief by convincing themselves that nothing had happened.
Neal Stephenson (Seveneves)
If there is any purpose or direction in the evolution of a culture, it has to do with bringing people under the control of more and more of the consequences of their behaviour.
B.F. Skinner
There is a much more important reason why we have been so slow in discarding mentalistic explanations: it has been hard to find alternatives. Presumably we must look for them in the external environment, but the role of the environment is by no means clear. The history of the theory of evolution illustrates the problem. Before the nineteenth century, the environment was thought of simply as a passive setting in which many different kinds of organisms were born, reproduced themselves, and died. No one saw that the environment was responsible for the fact that there were many different kinds (and that fact, significantly enough, was attributed to a creative Mind). The trouble was that the environment acts in an inconspicuous way: it does not push or pull, it selects. For thousands of years in the history of human thought the process of natural selection went unseen in spite of its extraordinary importance. When it was eventually discovered, it became, of course, the key to evolutionary theory.
B.F. Skinner (Beyond Freedom and Dignity (Hackett Classics))
By questioning the control exercised by autonomous man and demonstrating the control exercised by the environment, a science of behavior also seems to question dignity or worth. A person is responsible for his behavior, not only in the sense that he may be justly blamed or punished when he behaves badly, but also in the sense that he is to be given credit and admired for his achievements. A scientific analysis shifts the credit as well as the blame to the environment, and traditional practices can then no longer be justified. These are sweeping changes, and those who are committed to traditional theories and practices naturally resist them.
B.F. Skinner (Beyond Freedom and Dignity (Hackett Classics))
Slot machines cater, like the games on computers and phones, to the longing to flee from the oppressive world of dead-end jobs, crippling debt, social stagnation, and a dysfunctional political system. They shape our behavior with constant bursts of stimulation. We become rats in a Skinner box. We frantically pull levers until we are addicted and, finally entranced, by our adrenaline-driven compulsion to achieve fleeting and intermittent rewards. Behavioral psychologist B. F. Skinner found that when pigeons and rats did not know when or how much they would be rewarded, they pressed levers or pedals compulsively. Skinner used slot machines as a metaphor for his experiment.27
Chris Hedges (America: The Farewell Tour)
Ta mère est morte et ton père est à l'hôpital depuis six mois. C'est parfaitement injuste ! A ta place, moi aussi je serais en colère. Mais ce n'est la faute de personne, et ta colère ne doit pas t'empêcher de vivre ; ta vie ne fait que commencer et te réserve encore beaucoup de bonnes surprises. Seulement, il faut que tu réagisses !
B.F. Parry (Le Royaume des rêves (Oniria,#1))
Oniria était le monde où se déroulaient les rêves et les cauchemars des humains. Un monde immense où les êtres, les objets et les lieux nés de l'imagination des dormeurs continuaient d'exister après que leurs créateurs s'étaient réveillés. Un monde fantastique où les elfes et les princesses de contes de fées côtoyaient les monstres les plus féroces dans un joyeux désordre. Un monde où l'on pouvait boire de la bonne humeur ou cueillir un tabouret. Un monde où l'on pouvait partir à la recherche d'authentiques trésors gardés par des dragons, ou encore remonter le temps pour rencontrer les Incas. Les seules limites étaient celles de l'imagination des dormeurs qui créaient Oniria, nuit après nuit, grâce à la poudre étincelante que le Marchand de Sable leur distribuait pour les faire rêver.
B.F. Parry (Le Royaume des rêves (Oniria,#1))
T R O A 02 P A S S N F R L E E O 03 F T C A F L P U P L B 04 F O A K F S U K B B S 05 O U H E L E N U C M G 06 K C A B R E T R A U Q 07 C H N D O G A Y A F E 08 I D D I T O C R H G L 09 K O O C E N D Z O N E 10 G W F I E L D G O A L 11 U N F T B F N F U Q F 12 words
K. Lenart (Simple Word Find - Sports Edition (formatted for Kindle))
A government is challenged when its citizens refuse to pay taxes, serve in the armed forces, participate in elections, and so on, and it may meet the challenge either by strengthening its contingencies or by bringing deferred gains to bear on the behaviour at issue. But how can it answer the question: ‘Why should I care whether my government, or my form of government, survives long after my death?’ Similarly, a religious organization is challenged when its communicants do not go to church, contribute to its support, take political action in its interests, and so on, and it may meet the challenge by strengthening its contingencies or pointing to deferred gains. But what is its answer to the question: ‘Why should I work for the long-term survival of my religion?’ An economic system is challenged when people. do not work productively, and it may respond by sharpening its contingencies or pointing to deferred advantages. But what is its answer to the question: ‘Why should I be concerned about the survival of a particular kind of economic system?’ The only honest answer to that kind of question seems to be this: ‘There is no good reason why you should be concerned, but if your culture has not convinced you that there is, so much the worse for your culture.
B.F. Skinner (Beyond Freedom and Dignity)
Il faut connaître précisément ses objectifs si l’on veut les atteindre, dit l’ermite. Souhaites-tu ou ne souhaites-tu pas entrer dans l’Histoire ? — La Bête
B.F. Parry (Le réveil des fées (Oniria, #4))
Eliott secoua la tête, incrédule. — Alors, tu ne lui en veux pas ? balbutia-t-il. — Lui en vouloir de quoi ? demanda Farjo. — Mais... elle t’a tué ! Farjo haussa les épaules. — Chrouf aussi m’a tué, répondit-il. Je ne lui en veux pas. Enfin, un peu quand même, parce que c’est très désagréable de se faire croquer. Mais bon, c’est un copain maintenant.
B.F. Parry (Le réveil des fées (Oniria, #4))
Science not only describes, it predicts. It deals not only with the past but with the future. Nor is prediction the last word: to the extent that relevant conditions can be altered, or otherwise controlled, the future can be controlled. If we are to use the methods of science in the field of human affairs, we must assume that behavior is lawful and determined. We must expect to discover that what a man does is the result of specifiable conditions and that once these conditions have been discovered, we can anticipate and to some extent determine his actions.
B.F. Skinner (Science And Human Behavior)
La fortuna también se gana a expensas de los demás. Aun los honores bien merecidos del científico o erudito son injustos para muchas personas con iguales merecimientos que nunca reciben ninguno. Cuando se coloca a unhombre en un pedestal, se relega a otros hombres a la oscuridad. Desde el punto de vista colectivo no hay ganancia en absoluto y quizá sí una pérdida.
B.F. Skinner
La matoría de la gente vive al día, y, aunque tenga algún plan a largo plazo, no es más que una pequeña anticipación de algún proceso natural: esperan tener hijos, verlos crecer, etc. La mayoría de la gente no quiere hacer planes: quiere sentirse libre de la necesidad de planificar. Lo único que quiere es alguna seguridad de que podrá vivir decentemente. El resto es un diario disfrutar de la vida.
B.F. Skinner
War isn't hell. War is war, and Hell is hell, and not the two, war is a lot worse.
Captain B. F. 'Hawkeye' Peirce, M*A*S*H
War isn't hell. War is war, and Hell is hell, and of the two, war is a lot worse.
Captain B. F. 'Hawkeye' Peirce, M*A*S*H
For all we know, the larger part of the motive for trying to expand science is not self-serving; it is merely mistaken. The idealistic element in it is its desire to achieve in the understanding of man what science has achieved in the understanding of matter. Its mistake is in not seeing that the tools for the one are of strictly limited utility for the other, and that the practice of trying to see man as an object which the tools of science will fit leads first to underrating and then to losing sight of his attributes those tools miss. (The mere titles of B.F. Skinner's “Beyond Freedom and Dignity” and Herbert Marcuse's “One-Dimensional Man” will, in opposite ways, suffice.) If it be asked, “But what did the nonscientific approach to man and the world give us?” The answer is: “Meaning, purpose, and a vision in which everything coheres
Huston Smith (Forgotten Truth: The Common Vision of the World's Religions)
Engineer’s fascination with CPVC began in the mid-1990s. During this period, in the construction and plumbing industry, pipes were still made of iron and copper. Engineer saw that corrosion was a major problem with galvanized pipes and India was materially behind the evolution curve in the use of plastics for pipes. In the United States, CPVC was the new anti-corrosion solution for plastic pipes, which was swiftly replacing metal (iron and copper) pipes in industrial applications. CPVC was also a superior product compared to PVC because of higher ductile strength, which gave it the ability to handle hot water up to 200 degrees Fahrenheit (93° Celsius) (PVC can handle hot water only up to 140 degrees Fahrenheit [60° Celsius]). B.F. Goodrich (now known as Lubrizol) held the patent for CPVC resin technology, and Engineer decided to tie up with them to bring CPVC to India. He travelled to the United States to forge a techno-financial joint venture (JV) deal with Thompson Plastics of USA, which provided Astral with the technical know-how for setting up the CPVC plant. Astral also acquired the licence for CPVC resin procurement from Lubrizol (the first Indian company to do so). With a JV partner on board and a licence in his hand, Engineer set up Astral Poly Technik in March 1996. Thompson put up 20 per cent of equity for the company and Engineer approached his uncle to fund another 20 per cent. For his personal equity contribution, Engineer sold his house in Ahmedabad. I met Engineer at Astral’s corporate office located off the bustling Sarkhej–Gandhinagar Highway and behind the prestigious Rajpath Club in Ahmedabad. Recalling those early days, Engineer told me, ‘There was a time when everything my father-in-law and I owned was mortgaged to build Astral.
Saurabh Mukherjea (The Unusual Billionaires)
The movie has Marty say "blues riff in B" and then WHAM, the entire band is playing Johnny B. Goode like they've done so for years.  It's amazing, and as a kid, I spent a lot of time trying to figure this out.  How was it possible that everyone knew what notes to play and when to come in??  The backup guitar and drums both hit a beat at the beginning of the song without any communication whatsoever.
Ryan North (B^F: The Novelization Of The Feature Film)
And so human nature, fundamentally the same under all circumstances, may be greatly modified, both physically and mentally, by geographical, social, and political conditions.
Benjamin Franklin Cocker (Christianity and Greek Philosophy or, the relation between spontaneous and reflective thoughtin Greece and the positive teaching of Christ and His Apostles)
A knowledge of all the circumstances, both physical and moral, in the midst of which events take place, is absolutely necessary to a right judgment of the events themselves.
Benjamin Franklin Cocker (Christianity and Greek Philosophy or, the relation between spontaneous and reflective thoughtin Greece and the positive teaching of Christ and His Apostles)
Some people have suggested that the “theory of variable rewards” explains our obsession with the digital world. This theory, created by American psychologist and behaviorist B.F. Skinner in the 1950s, resulted from his study of lab mice that responded more aggressively to random rewards than predictable ones. When mice pressed a lever, they sometimes got a small treat, other times a large treat, and other times nothing at all. Unlike mice that received the same treat with each lever press, the mice that received variable rewards pressed the lever more often and compulsively.
S.J. Scott (10-Minute Digital Declutter: The Simple Habit to Eliminate Overwhelm from Technology, Social Media, and Online Distractions)
Skinner’s teaching machine might look terribly out-of-date, but I’d argue that this is the history that still shapes so much of what we see today. Self-paced learning, gamification, an emphasis on real-time or near-real-time corrections. No doubt, ed-tech today draws quite heavily on Skinner’s ideas because Skinner (and his fellow education psychologist Edward Thorndike) has been so influential in how we view teaching and learning and how we view schooling. So much B. F. Skinner. So little Seymour Papert. So little Alan Kay. I'd argue too that this isn’t just about education technology. There’s so much Skinner and so little Kay in “mainstream” technology too. Think Zynga, for example.
Anonymous
To account for this complexity, I borrow from Kurt Lewin’s (1951) work in the early 1950s, his expression B  =  f(P, E) which says that behavior is a function of the person in interaction with his or her environment.
Michael (Ed.) Ungar (The Social Ecology of Resilience)
carrot-and-stick reinforcement’ the behaviorists are telling us is needed for this bird to carry out these operations, thirteen different types of construction jobs? B. F. Skinner did a very good thing: in World War
William Peter Blatty (Legion (The Exorcist, #2))
An experimental analysis shifts the determination of behaviour from autonomous man to the environment - an environment responsible both for the evolution of the species and for the repertoire acquired by each member. Early versions of environmentalism were inadequate because they could not explain how the environment worked, and much seemed to be left for autonomous man to do. But environmental contingencies now take over functions once attributed to autonomous man, and certain questions arise. Is man then 'abolished'? Certainly not as a species or as an individual achiever. It is the autonomous inner man who is abolished, and that is a step forward. But does man not then become merely a victim or passive observer of what is happening to him? He is indeed controlled by his environment, but we must remember that it is an environment largely of his own making. The evolution of a culture is a gigantic exercise in self-control. It is often said that a scientific view of man leads to wounded vanity, a sense of hopelessness, and nostalgia. But no theory changes what it is a theory about; man remains what he has always been. And a new theory may change what can be done with its subject matter. A scientific view of man offers exciting possibilities. We have not yet seen what man can make of man.
Skinner, B. F.
B. F. Skinner, the world-famous psychologist, proved through his experiments that an animal rewarded for good behavior will learn much more rapidly and retain what it learns far more effectively than an animal punished for bad behavior.
Dale Carnegie (How to Win Friends & Influence People)
One person manages another in the sense that he manages himself. He does not do so by changing feelings or states of mind. The Greek gods were said to change behavior by giving men mental states such as pride, mental confusion, or courage, but no one has been successful in doing so since. One person changes the behavior of another by changing the world in which he lives. In doing so, he no doubt changes what the other person feels or introspectively observes.
B.F. Skinner
In 1936, psychologist Kurt Lewin wrote a simple equation that makes a powerful statement: Behavior is a function of the Person in their Environment, or B = f (P,E).
James Clear (Atomic Habits: An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones)
Now that we know how positive reinforcement works, and why negative doesn’t, we can be more deliberate and hence more successful, in our cultural design. We can achieve a sort of control under which the controlled…nevertheless feel free. They are doing what they want to do, not what they are forced to do. That’s the source of the tremendous power of positive reinforcement—there’s no restraint and no revolt. By a careful design, we control not the final behavior, but the inclination to behave—the motives, the desires, the wishes. The curious thing is that in that case the question of freedom never arises.
B.F. Skinner (Walden Two)
n the 20th century, the Harvard psychologist B.F. Skinner performed a famous set of experiments in which he tested different methods of introducing new behaviours in rats. These experiments brought to light how “the powers that be” can condition humans to love their servitude. In one set of experiments, Skinner attempted to cultivate new behaviours via positive reinforcement; he provided the rat with food anytime it performed the desirable behavior. In another set of experiments, he attempted to weaken or eliminate certain behaviours via punishment; he triggered a painful stimulus when the rat performed the behavior Skinner wished to eliminate. Skinner discovered that punishment temporarily put an end to undesirable behaviours, but it did not remove the animal’s motivation to engage in such behaviors in the future. “Punished behavior”, writes Skinner, “is likely to reappear after the punitive consequences are withdrawn.” (B.F. Skinner, About Behaviorism) Behaviors that were conditioned via positive reinforcement, on the other hand, were more enduring and led to long-term changes in the animal’s behavioural patterns.
Academy of Ideas
Behavior is a function of the Person in their Environment, or B = f (P,E).
James Clear (Atomic Habits: An Easy and Proven Way to Build Good Habits and Break Bad Ones)
The addictive nature of smartphones is further enhanced by a form of behavioral conditioning called intermittent reinforcement and the power of this conditioning was revealed by the research of the 20th century psychologist B.F Skinner. Skinner discovered that if a behavior is rewarded on a variable and unpredictable schedule, the reward is felt as more pleasurable and the conditioned behavior is more resistant to extinction in comparison with a behavior that is rewarded all the time. Mobile app developers use this behavioural conditioning to promote the use of their applications. Rather than exposing their users to stimulating novel content each time they open the app, users are rewarded only some of the time. This type of behavioral conditioning heightens the feelings of pleasure associated with using these apps and renders users prone to addiction.
Academy of Ideas
In 1931 German psychologist Kurt Lewin proposed what would come to be known as Lewin’s equation: B = f (P, E)—that is, human behavior is a function of a person and his or her environment. This
Steve Hilton (More Human: Designing a World Where People Come First)