4/17/15
Pavlov vs. Skinner

Ivan Pavlov, born September 26, 1849, was a Russian physiologist. Pavlov is primarily known for his works in classical conditioning. Pavlov was actually preparing to become a priest but he left the seminary and studied chemistry and physiology instead. One of Pavlov's interest had to do with the digestive system, more specifically the interaction between salivation and the action of the stomach. He conducted an experiment with dogs where he noticed that the dog would begin to salivate not only when they saw food but also when they heard the assistant entering the room. The dog associate the sound of the assistant entering the room with the presentation of food. The outcome of this experiment was unplanned but earned Pavlov the Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine in 1904.
B. F. Skinner ( Burrhus Frederic), born March 20, 1904, was an American psychologist and behaviorist. He majored in literature at Hamilton College in New York and wanted to become a writer, but he wasn't very successful. So he went back to school and went to Harvard to study psychology. Skinner developed the idea of operant conditioning which is the rewarding of a partial behavior or a random act that approaches the desired behavior. Operant conditioning can be used to shape behavior. Skinner experimented this with pigeons. He trained or shaped pigeons to turn in a circle to the left by rewarding them for every movement they made towards the left. Skinner became one of the most influential psychologist of the 20th century.