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B. F. Skinner Quotes (14 Quotes)


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  • A failure is not always a mistake, it may simply be the best one can do under the circumstances. The real mistake is to stop trying.
    (B. F. Skinner)

  • The real question is not whether machines think but whether men do. The mystery which surrounds a thinking machine already surrounds a thinking man.
    (B. F. Skinner)

  • The consequences of an act affect the probability of it's occurring again.
    (B. F. Skinner)

  • We shouldn't teach great books; we should teach a love of reading.
    (B. F. Skinner)

  • Give me a child and I'll shape him into anything.
    (B. F. Skinner)


  • Society attacks early, when the individual is helpless.
    (B. F. Skinner)

  • I did not direct my life. I didn't design it. I never made decisions. Things always came up and made them for me. That's what life is.
    (B. F. Skinner)

  • The way positive reinforcement is carried out is more important than the amount.
    (B. F. Skinner)

  • Behavior is determined by its consequences.
    (B. F. Skinner)

  • Education is not just the filling of a pail, it is the lighting of a fire.
    (B. F. Skinner)

  • The real problem is not whether machines think but whether men do.
    (B. F. Skinner)

  • Better contraceptives will control population only if people will use them. A nuclear holocaust can be prevented only if the conditions under which nations make war can be changed. The environment will continue to deteriorate until pollution practices are abandoned. We need to make vast changes in human behavior.
    (B. F. Skinner)

  • Education is what survives when what has been learned has been forgotten.
    (B. F. Skinner)

  • If you're old, don't try to change yourself, change your environment.
    (B. F. Skinner)


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