Born in the year 1904 in a Pennsylvanian town, B. F. Skinner is a world known psychologist (Kuhlmann 8). He embarked on the development of his human behavior ideas after earning a doctorate from the University of Harvard. Skinner showed a peculiar interest in making different contraptions and gadgets at a very early age. While he was studying at the Hamilton College, he developed a writing passion. He attempted to work his way into becoming a prolific writer after his graduation, but this turned out as a huge failure (Kuhlmann 8). After this is when Skinner decided to pursue a totally different course with his life and study psychology at Harvard University. While at this university he decided to have a more focused objective, which was to measure his way into studying behavior. However, years later when his children were growing up he became very interested in education. This led Skinner into developing a teaching machine that would study children’s learning process.
There are various psychological contributions that Skinner made towards that field before his death. One of the concepts is the ideal utopian society where all people are free and happy. He established his utopian society in a remote region situated in the United States of America. He publicized these ideas in a novel named “Walden” where he talked of child rearing (Schultz 394). The book is a fictional writing of a behaviorist utopia whereby the parents are young and carefree and the children enjoy all community-run comforts in a behaviorist-approved child day care. He also presents a vision of a localized and decentralized society which applies a scientific and practical approach. In addition, the utopian community has a futuristic and advanced behavioral expertise of dealing with various kinds of social problems peacefully. Skinner’s utopian society ideologies make up a rhetorical work piece and a thought experiment, just like other dystopia concepts (Schultz 395). He also asserts that the individual freedom concept is more of an illusion. Skinner sought to unite the individual behaviors’ reinforcement, the species’ natural selection and the cultural development under a publication known as “The Selection by Consequences.”
Delving deeper into Skinner’s utopian ideologies, the society receives guidance through behaviorist principles. The society’s members face conditioning to be creative and productive. The utopian society holds no realistic governing bodies but subscribe to self-control techniques from the Walden code (Kuhlmann 32). There are community counselors available who supervise peoples’ demeanor and provide succor to the members that experience any complications while implementing the Walden code. People also work for a maximum of only four hours and end up not receiving any salary. This is because nothing in the utopian world possesses any money value.
There are many critiques that have come up due to Skinner’s utopian society ideologies. Controversial topics and issues have also emerged as a result of the same. Many people wonder how money could function in such a society because nothing has a money value attachment. However, this relates closely to the fact Skinner’ society generates selfless people selfless which explain the fact that there is increased competition instead of competition (Kuhlmann 44). The creation of these selfless individuals emanates from Skinner’s behavioral modification techniques. The idea of a utopian society consisting of selfless individuals brings out the implication that the traditional money functions might begin to change with time. Skinner foresaw a positive world change through behavior manipulation on a personal level. He believed that if human being s would live in the right and perfect environment then they could live happily. Through his book “Walden” he illustrates his ideologies on the manner in which human behavior should be created.
Kuhlmann, Hilke. Living Walden Two: B.f. Skinner's Behaviorist Utopia and Experimental
Communities. Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 2005. Print.
Schultz, Duane. Theories of Personality. Australia: Thomson/Wadsworth, 2005. Web.