B. F. Skinner and Behaviorism in American Culture

Bethlehem, PA: Associated Universities Press/Lehigh (1996)
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Abstract

This book is about the eminent behavioral scientist B. F. Skinner, the American culture in which he lived and worked, and the behaviorist movement that played a leading role in American psychological and social thought during the twentieth century. From a base of research on laboratory animals in the 1930s, Skinner built a committed and influential following as well as a utopian movement for social reform. His radical ideas attracted much public attention and generated heated controversy. By the mid-1970s, he had become the most widely recognized scientist in America, surpassing even Margaret Mead and Linus Pauling. Yet Skinner himself was an unassuming family man from a modest middle-class background, a machine-shop tinkerer whose tastes ran to English and French literature. Drawing on archival research, interviews, and historical styles appropriate to the evidence, the authors assembled in this volume examine Skinner's remarkable rise to prominence in the wider context of America's intellectual, cultural, and social history.

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William Woodward
University of New Hampshire, Durham

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