BF Skinner did NOT raise a child in a "Skinner Box"

I encourage everyone who does not recognize the truth about this defamatory urban legend to read this Snopes article. Scroll down and read the whole thing. It will only take a matter of minutes.


Skinner’s daughter, Deborah, was the child in the “box” which was simply a temperature and humidity controlled crib. IOW, a much better version of a typical crib. Here is how she described it as an adult. (BTW she was a well adjusted adult, not insane as per the urban legend.)

"My father’s intentions were simple, and based on removing what he and my mother saw as the worst aspects of a baby’s typical sleeping arrangements: clothes, sheets and blankets. These not only have to be washed, but they restrict arm and leg movement and are a highly imperfect method of keeping a baby comfortable. My mother was happy. She had to give me fewer baths and of course had fewer clothes and blankets to wash, so allowing her more time to enjoy her baby.I was very happy, too, though I must report at this stage that I remember nothing of those first two and a half years. I am told that I never once objected to being put back inside. I had a clear view through the glass front and, instead of being semi-swaddled and covered with blankets, I luxuriated semi-naked in warm, humidified air. The air was filtered but not germ-free, and when the glass front was lowered into place, the noise from me and from my parents and sister was dampened, not silenced.

The effect on me? Who knows? I was a remarkably healthy child, and after the first few months of life only cried when injured or inoculated. I didn’t have a cold until I was six. I’ve enjoyed good health since then, too, though that may be my genes. Frankly, I’m surprised the contraption never took off.…"