Friday, March 02, 2007

Buzan's Box

BF Skinner was a world famous psychologist who did experiments on conditioning, following Pavlov, where he showed you could get anyone to do anything with enough positive reinforcement (negative reinforcement isn't as effective, oddly). Humph. Lauren Slater has written a very personal book Opening Skinner's Box: Great Psychological Experiments of the Twentieth Century all about Skinner and several other famous psychologists. BF Skinner's daughter Deborah Skinner Buzan responds to Slater's book in the Guardian, claiming the writer failed to do her research, citing several allegations Slater . However, it feels like it's Buzan who's not done her research, as Slater is clear that Buzan didn't suffer from any of the things mentioned; she mentions them only to debunk them. She does say that Buzan slept in the "heir conditioner", a sealed cot designed to provide the perfect environment for a growing baby, but then so does Buzan. Buzan's big problem seems to be that Slater never got in touch with her; but Slater tried to, spoke to Buzan's sister and generally made the effort. That said, Buzan got to write an article for the Guardian and, knowing their page rate, she had to say something controversial...

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