Skinner 1904 - 1990 (86)

We are only just beginning to understand the power of love because we are just beginning to understand the weakness of force and aggression.


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.

Barrow Frederick Skinner (March 20, 1904 - August 18, 1990) was an American psychologist, writer, inventor and social philosopher. He was born in Pennsylvania, his father was a lawyer. Skinner was a very energetic and extrovert child but his childhood was stigmatized by his brother death at the age of 16 from a stroke. In his school years he was writing for the school newspaper and declared atheist, in a school that obliged him to attend everyday the liturgy. He dreamed of becoming a writer and from a young age he wrote poems and novels. When he graduated he turned the attic of his father's home into a "concentration place" and spent many hours every day in order to create literature. He had no success and decided to wander around America; then he went to study to Harvard. In 1930 he received his Master in Psychology and one year later his Ph.D. That same year he moved to Minneapolis to teach at the University of Minnesota. He met there his wife to be with whom they had two daughters.

In 1945 he became a professor at the Department of Psychology at the University of Indiana and three years later he moved to Harvard, where he remained for the rest of his life. Skinner taught hundreds of prospective psychologists, wrote many successful books and did a great job in research. He failed as a writer of literature but became a famous psychotherapist in the field of behavioral and collaborative learning. His most famous book is "Walden II" that refers to human behavior. He died in 1990 from leukemia.