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The Behavior of Organisms

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The Behavior of Organisms
First edition
AuthorB.F. Skinner
SubjectBehavior analysis, Behaviorology
Publication date
Publication placeUnited States

The Behavior of Organisms is B.F. Skinner's first book and was published in May 1938 as a volume of the Century Psychology Series.[1] It set out the parameters for the discipline that would come to be called the experimental analysis of behavior (EAB) and Behavior Analysis. This book was reviewed in 1939 by Ernest R. Hilgard.[2] Skinner looks at science behavior and how the analysis of behavior produces data which can be studied, rather than acquiring data through a conceptual or neural process. In the book, behavior is classified either as respondent or operant behavior, where respondent behavior is caused by an observable stimulus and operant behavior is where there is no observable stimulus for a behavior. The behavior is studied in depth with rats and the feeding responses they exhibit.[3]


  1. ^ B.F. Skinner (1938). The Behavior of Organisms: An Experimental Analysis. Cambridge, Massachusetts: B.F. Skinner Foundation. ISBN 1-58390-007-1, ISBN 0-87411-487-X
  2. ^ Ernest R. Hilgard (1939). "Review of B.F. Skinner's The Behavior of Organisms". Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior (1988), 50(2), pp. 283–286.
  3. ^ Skinner, B.F. (1938). The behavior of organisms: an experimental analysis. Oxford, England: Appleton-Century. pp. 457.

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