Definition of Skinner box in English:

Share this entry

Skinner box

Pronunciation: /ˈskinər ˌbäks/

noun

Psychology
An apparatus for studying instrumental conditioning in animals (typically rats or pigeons) in which the animal is isolated and provided with a lever or switch that it learns to use to obtain a reward, such as a food pellet, or to avoid a punishment, such as an electric shock.
Example sentences
  • The studies described as operant were conducted in Skinner boxes using positive reinforcement and a free operant procedure.
  • An animal behaviorist I knew used to demonstrate this in laboratory rats that were previously shaped to the Skinner box procedures.
  • The students have a joke about the rats in the Skinner box.

Origin

1940s: named after B. F. Skinner (see Skinner, B. F.).

Share this entry
 

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.