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Skinner box

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noun Psychology.
  1. a box used in experiments in animal learning, especially in operant conditioning, equipped with a mechanism that automatically gives the animal food or other reward or permits escape, as by opening a door.

Origin of Skinner box

First recorded in 1940–45; named after B. F. Skinner
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
British Dictionary definitions for skinner box

Skinner box

noun
  1. 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

Word Origin

C20: named after B. F. Skinner
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for skinner box

Skinner box

n.

1940 (earlier Skinner apparatus, 1938), from U.S. psychologist B.F. Skinner (1904-1990).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

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