Skinner and his contributions to psychology essay

Synopsis[ edit ] The first-person narrator and protagonistProfessor Burris, is a university instructor of psychology, who is approached by two young men one a former student sometime in the late s. The young men are recent veterans of World War II and, intrigued by utopianismexpress interest in an old acquaintance of Burris, named T. Frazier, who in the s started an intentional community that still thrives. Burris contacts Frazier, who invites them all to stay for several days to experience life in the supposedly utopian community.

Skinner and his contributions to psychology essay

The process is also called adaptation, and traits most likely to help an individual survive are considered adaptive. As organisms change and new variants thrive, species emerge and evolve. In the s, when Darwin described this engine of natural selection, the underlying molecular mechanisms were unknown.

But over the past century, advances in genetics and molecular biology have outlined a modern, neo-Darwinian theory of how evolution works: DNA sequences randomly mutate, and organisms with the specific sequences best adapted to the environment multiply and prevail.

Those are the species that dominate a niche, until the environment changes and the engine of evolution fires up again. But this explanation for evolution turns out to be incomplete, suggesting that other molecular mechanisms also play a role in how species evolve. Scientists, well-aware of the issue, have proposed a variety of genetic mechanisms to compensate: Yet even with such mechanisms in play, genetic mutation rates for complex organisms such as humans are dramatically lower than the frequency of change for a host of traits, from adjustments in metabolism to resistance to disease.

For instance, if genetic inheritance determines our traits, then why do identical twins with the same genes generally have different types of diseases? And why do just a low percentage often less than 1 per cent of those with many specific diseases share a common genetic mutation?

If the rate of mutation is random and steady, then why have many diseases increased more than fold in frequency in only a couple decades? How is it that hundreds of environmental contaminants can alter disease onset, but not DNA sequences?

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In evolution and biomedicine, the rates of phenotypic trait divergence is far more rapid than the rate of genetic variation and mutation — but why? Part of the explanation can be found in some concepts that Jean-Baptiste Lamarck proposed 50 years before Darwin published his work.

Despite this significant academic career, Lamarck antagonised many of his contemporaries and years of scientists with his blasphemous evolutionary ideas.

Yet by the end of his career, Darwin himself had come around; even without the benefit of molecular biology, he could see that random changes were not fast enough to support his theory in full. The question is this: One clue came almost a century after Darwin proposed his theory, injust as James Watson and Francis Crick were unravelling the mysteries of DNA and the double helix.

The changes the scientists induced in that single generation would, thereafter, be inherited by progeny down the lineage. Notably, before Watson and Crick had even revealed their DNA structure, Waddington recognised the potential impact his discovery could have on the theory of evolution: It appeared that the environment could directly impact traits.

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They are completely integrated Although Waddington described the general role of epigenetics, he was no more aware of the molecular elements or mechanisms involved than Lamarck or Darwin. Indeed, although the vast majority of environmental factors cannot directly alter the molecular sequence of DNA, they do regulate a host of epigenetic mechanisms that regulate how DNA functions — turning the expression of genes up or down, or dictating how proteins, the products of our genes, are expressed in cells.

Today, that is the precise definition of epigenetics: Epigenetics involves a number of molecular processes that can dramatically influence the activity of the genome without altering the sequence of DNA in the genes themselves.

Environmental factors such as temperature or emotional stress have been shown to alter DNA methylation, and these changes can be permanently programmed and inherited over generations — a process known as epigenetic transgenerational inheritance.

Histones are proteins that attach to and alter the structure of DNA, which in turn wraps around the histones like beads on a string. All of these epigenetic mechanisms are critical and have unique roles in the molecular regulation of how DNA functions.B.F.

Skinner is also known for major contributions to the field of psychology (About B.F. Skinner, Sept, ). Skinner was a prolific author, publishing nearly articles and more than 20 books. Skinner was most known for his work in behavior psychology. Essay Behaviorism Theory; Essay Behaviorism Theory.

although Ivan Pavlov and B.F. Skinner were his “heirs” (Crain, p.3). The School of Thought Known as Behaviorism Essay. Psychology changed dramatically during the early 20th-century as another school of thought known as behaviorism rose to dominance.

Behaviorism was a major. In its beginnings psychology was long regarded as a branch of philosophy. Immanuel Kant declared in his Metaphysical Foundations of Natural Science () that a scientific psychology "properly speaking" is impossible. Johann Friedrich Herbart () took issue with Kant's conclusion and attempted to develop a mathematical basis for a scientific psychology.

Skinner received his PHD of psychology in Harvard in and continued with his study until In the same year, he married Yvonne Blue. Later, he taught in Minnesota University and University of Indiana.

Skinner and his contributions to psychology essay

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Skinner and his contributions to psychology essay

American psychologist B.F. Skinner is best known for developing the theory of behaviorism, and for his utopian novel Walden Two (). Burrhus Frederic Skinner was born on March 20, , in the Born: Mar 20,

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