Behaviorist: Burrhus Frederic Skinner
Burrhus Frederic Skinner, more commonly known as B.F. Skinner was an American psychologist, behaviorist, author, inventor, and social philosopher. He belongs to the Behavioralism school of thought, as the majority of his work dealt with influencing the behavior of animals, believing that it would shed some light on to the way humans behave and react. He studied how positive and negative reinforcements, as well as operant conditioning, affected the way animals behaved. He was born in 1904 and died in 1990, and during the time period he lived and worked, there were theories galore each attempting to explain how the brain worked and how it affected human (and animal) behavior. Skinner's theory of operant conditioning was based off of Edward Thorndike's work with animals in a puzzle box. Sound familiar?
B.F. Skinner was very important to the field of psychology, not only did his studies on operant conditioning further peoples' understanding of behavior, but he also conducted a lot of research on how positive and negative reinforcement affects whether a person or animal alters their behavior or not. I also fiercely believe, that the time period in which he was born played a huge part on the advancements that he made in the field. I mean, there were already lots of theories and evidence from others' research that opened a lot of doors for Skinner to make advancements upon, or to further improve an already existing theory. Without the work of Skinner, we may not have as much of an understanding as we do today on how reinforcements influence the behavior of animals and humans alike.