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B. F. Skinner and T. N. Whitehead: A Brief Encounter, Research Similarities, Hawthorne Revisited, What Next?

By Calvin K Claus


B. F. Skinner and T. N. Whitehead recalled a personal interaction in 1934, with differing memories of the event. No evidence of other subsequent interactions or mutual citations has been found. Although they went their separate ways, three similarities in their research strategies have been found and are discussed. Elements of Whitehead's Hawthorne study and Skinner's concurrent, parallel work reveal that they both (a) introduced the cumulative curve to report data, (b) used a small number of subjects studied over time, and (c) used highly accurate recording devices. A few “afterwords” are offered on their lives and writings, and again, on the Hawthorne effect. A suggestion is made that a Skinner–Whitehead research approach might be useful in studying gambling behavior

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Publisher: The Association for Behavior Analysis, Inc.
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Provided by: PubMed Central
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