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February 1969

B. F. Skinner: The Man and His Ideas.

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1969;20(2):251. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1969.01740140123023

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Professor Skinner is one of the outstanding contemporary psychologists or at least he has stirred heated controversy in educators, psychologists, and psychiatrists. He is the "inventor" of operant conditioning which by programs of scheduled positive reinforcement are utilized in teaching "machines" and applied in psychiatric therapy. Professor Evans is, himself, an erudite scholar who taped several extended dialogues with Skinner. By his questions Evans reveals the breadth of his own knowledge.

The substantive contents of the volume will not be reviewed because they have been published and debated many times elsewhere. The book, however, is recommended for study by members of the mental health disciplines, especially psychiatrists. Between the covers of the book are summarized the basic concepts of Skinnerian psychology without the confusion of technological material, graphs, or diagrams. The psychiatrist may be better able to evaluate what role positive reinforcement plays

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