Skinner box


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Related to Skinner box: operant conditioning

Skinner box

n.
A soundproof, light-resistant box or cage used in laboratories to isolate an animal for experiments in operant conditioning and usually containing only a bar or lever to be pressed by the animal to gain a reward, such as food, or to avoid a painful stimulus, such as a shock.

[After Burrhus Frederick Skinner.]

Skinner box

n
(Psychology) a device for studying the learning behaviour of animals, esp rats and pigeons, consisting of a box in which the animal can move a lever to obtain a reward, such as a food pellet, or a punishment, such as an electric shock
[C20: named after B. F. Skinner]

Skin′ner box`


n.
a box used in experiments in animal learning, esp. in operant conditioning, typically equipped with a device that gives the animal a reward, as food, or a painful stimulus, as a mild shock, for a particular performance.
[1940–45; after B. French. Skinner]
References in periodicals archive ?
In Skinner Box Head, holes in a man's face reveal that he's a machine--and in the center of the head, where the brain ought to be, a chicken pecks repeatedly at part of the mechanism.
Other works are less abstract, including Skinner Box Pigeons, a small painting of the birds, and Stairs, another small painting of a staircase leading up a rocky landscape to an arched gateway.
In the Skinner box, rats had to remember the location of a lever for short periods of up to 30 seconds.