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J. E. R. Staddon

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J. E. R. Staddon
John Eric Rayner Staddon

(1937-03-19) 19 March 1937 (age 87)
AwardsGuggenheim Fellow, New York Academy of Sciences Fellow, American Psychological Society, Alexander von Humboldt Prize, Med Associates Distinguished Contributions to Basic Behavior Analysis Award, 2018.
Academic background
Alma materUniversity College London
Hollins College
Harvard University
ThesisThe effect of "knowledge of results" on timing behavior in the pigeon (1964)
Academic work

John Eric Rayner Staddon (born 19 March 1937) is a British-born American psychologist. He has been a critic of Skinnerian behaviorism and proposed a theoretically-based "New Behaviorism".[1] John Staddon conducted theoretical behaviorism research in adaptive function, mechanisms of learning, and optimality theories. He completed his graduate work at the Skinner Lab in Harvard in the 1960s, with Richard Herrnstein.[2]

Life and career[edit]

Educated first at University College London, a three-year period interrupted by two years[3] in Northern Rhodesia, now Zambia. After graduation from UCL, he went to the U. S., to Hollins College in Hollins, Virginia for a year, and then to Harvard University where he studied under Richard Herrnstein, obtaining his PhD in Experimental Psychology in 1964 with a thesis The effect of "knowledge of results" on timing behavior in the pigeon.

Staddon has done research at the MIT Systems Lab, the University of Oxford, the University of São Paulo at Ribeirão Preto, the National Autonomous University of Mexico, the Ruhr Universität, Universität Konstanz, the University of Western Australia and York University (U.K.) and taught at the University of Toronto from 1964 to 1967.

Since 1967, Staddon has been at Duke University; since 1983 he has been the James B. Duke Professor of psychology, and a professor of biology and neurobiology. He was an editor of the journals Behavioural Processes (1983-2002) and Behavior & Philosophy (1996-2004). Since 2007, he has been professor emeritus at Duke University.[4]


  • 1977, co-editor with W. K. Honig: Handbook of Operant behavior. Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice-Hall
  • 1980, editor: Limits to action: The allocation of individual behavior. New York: Academic Press.
  • 2001: Adaptive Dynamics: The Theoretical Analysis of Behavior. Cambridge, Massachusetts: MIT/Bradford
  • The Malign Hand of the Markets. McGraw-Hill, 2012. Japanese translation: Shijo o ayatsuru jaku na te: Kin'yu shijo o hakai suru miezaru chikara.
  • 2013: Unlucky Strike: Private Health and the Science, Law and Politics of Smoking. University of Buckingham Press ISBN 9781908684370
  • 2016: The Englishman: Memoirs of a Psychobiologist. University of Buckingham Press
  • 2016: Adaptive Behavior and Learning, 2nd Edition. Cambridge University Press)
  • 2018: Scientific Method: How science works, fails to work and pretends to work. Routledge
  • 2021: The New Behaviorism: Foundations of behavioral science, 3rd Edition. Psychology Press
  • 2022: Science in an age of unreason. Regnery
  • 2022: Handbook of Operant behavior: Classic Edition. Routledge


External links[edit]