Ep 228 (video): Did B.F. Skinner Raise His Children in a Skinner Box?


You may have heard this rumor about B.F. Skinner raising his children in one of his (presumably oversized) “Skinner boxes”. Is there any truth to this? Related rumors: that Skinner’s daughter became mentally ill as a result of being raised in this box and that she sued her father when she became an adult. We finally find the answer to this long held belief in this fictional interview with B.F. himself (the audio is really Skinner talking).

…Ladies Home Journal ran a piece on the new crib in 1945…The title of the article, “Baby in a Box,” as well as Skinner’s use of the word “experiment” to describe the experience likely contributed to public skepticism about the device.. The image accompanying the article was similarly damaging; it showed Deborah enclosed within the crib, peering out with her face and hands pressed up against the glass. In addition, select parts of the article were reprinted in other major outlets. As a result, many readers did not get the entire story. Some began to make inferences about the nature of the crib based on the much more famous Skinner box. The air crib therefore became associated with rewards, pellets, levers, and the like. – Joyce and Faye

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Dementia: When “Living in the Moment” is Not A Good Thing

Enjoying A Fleeting Birthday Moment

Tomorrow my mother turns 94 and her physical health is amazing. I have spoken about my mother and her husband Roy (who turns 99 next Spring) on this podcast several times including this episode where I interview him since he is in the final stage of Erikson’s Eight Stages of PsychoSocial Development. Like many people her age my mother suffers from dementia which means that while her long term memory is good, her short term memory is not good at all.
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220: PsycExplorer Roundup: More Evidence That Animals Think and Feel


In episode 217 I asked you to be frank with yourself: Does your animal really think? It’s easy to believe they do, but if you’re going to study this issue scientifically you have to eliminate our human tendency to anthropomorphize – to want to believe that animal actions are motivated by internal states.

Here’s a roundup of a few articles I found in my PsycExplorer app (PsycExplorerHD for iPad) which show exactly what psychologists are doing to find out what exactly is going on (if anything…) in the minds of dogs, cats, rats, chickens and yes fruit flies. Are they really thinking in there? Well, maybe so. These examples certainly convinced me, although it might all depend on what you mean by “thinking” and “feeling”. [Read more…]

Ep 214: Your Adolescence is Giving Me A Mid-Life Crisis!

We all know that adolescence is a time of change and often a tough time for the teen. But what about the parent? Today’s parents are often older than years ago, and today’s parents are sometimes going through their own self-examination, their own doubts, their own exploration. What happens when you bring those two together? Sometimes a lot of yelling frankly. In this episode I talk about the changes going on in the adolescent and in the older parent and how parents can avoid the yelling and the accusations that only undermine what the teen is going through and how parents can step back and examine themselves. A little understanding can go a long way.
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Ep 211: Is a Little Deception Okay? Paid Crowds and Native Advertising

crowds for hire

crowds for hireWe face more moral “dilemmas” in everyday life than maybe we don’t realize. How do we resolve them? In this episode I discuss two interesting moral dilemmas: a) should you employ for-hire crowds of actors to attend your event in order to make it look like you’re more popular than you really are? and b) should you place your advertisements on web and print pages in such a way that they don’t really look like ads at all? I discuss the moral questions involved in “native advertising“. You’ll find some unique examples of Kohlberg’s stages of moral development.
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Ep 210: How to Memorize Kolhberg’s Stages of Moral Development

A fish wearing shoes ("2 is a shoe" ). Kohlberg's second stage: selfish interest

Need to memorize Lawrence Kohlberg’s stages of moral development really quickly? This is what you’re looking for – a brief audio podcast in which I give you some crazy images that will stick in your mind for a really long time. You’ll be surprised at how quickly you’ll have the six stages memorized. Some of my listeners have said that the mnemonics they’ve learned here have stuck in the stuck in their head for years! Whether you are studying for a psychology test or a nursing exam, you will find this a fun and effective way to learn. I challenge you to listen to this episode and then quiz yourself a few hours later. You’ll be pleasantly surprised. Let’s memorize!
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Ep 206: What It’s Like to Have Autism – Interview with Alex Lowrey

Alex Lowrey

Alex LowreyIts time to hear from someone who has been diagnosed with autism what life is like. Alex Lowery joins us to talk about growing up with autism – about the heightened sensations, the frustrations of not being understood and what has helped him get to where he is today. At 20, Alex gives talks about his life. This is a great place to increase your understanding of autism.
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Ep 205: Secondhand Autism: What is it Like to Grow Up with an Autistic Sibling?

A unique look at autism and the family.

A unique look at autism and the family.

A unique look at autism and the family.

In this interview with Paul Brodie, author of Secondhand Autism, we discover how an autistic brother gave the gift of resilience and strength to his family.

There are of course challenges, but ultimately there are lessons to be learned about life. Listen to what Paul has to say about growing up with his autistic brother Scott, what it was like for his siblings and his parents – what they sacrificed and how they grew from it.

  • Thank you to Tayshia who emailed me this link to an infographic on the history of autism
Autism: A Select List of Credible Resources
Michael Britt

Autism: A Select List of Credible Resources

Websites and credible information on Autism.

Source: http://www.thepsychfiles.com/2013/10/ep-205-secondhand-autism-what-is-it-like-to-grow-up-with-an-autistic-sibling/

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  1. 1  "Secondhand Autism" by Paul A Brodie

    "Secondhand Autism" by Paul A Brodie

    Diagnoses of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) in children are happening at an increasing rate. The autism spectrum is very wide and includes many different expressions of symptoms. Regardless of the severity of autism in a child, autism isn't an individual disorder. Autism affects everyone in the family.

  2. 2  The Autism Spectrum in the 21st Century: Exploring Psychology, Biology and Practice

    The Autism Spectrum in the 21st Century: Exploring Psychology, Biology and Practice

    This well-researched book provides a much needed opportunity for professionals working in the field of autism, third-sector staff, students and affected family members to access impartial, accurate and up-to-date knowledge of the Autism Spectrum across a wide range of topics...

  3. 3  The boy whose brain could unlock autism

    The boy whose brain could unlock autism

    SOMETHING WAS WRONG with Kai Markram. At five days old, he seemed like an unusually alert baby, picking his head up and looking around long before his sisters had done. By the time he could walk, he was always in motion and required constant attention just to ensure his safety.

  4. 4  Understanding the autism spectrum

    Understanding the autism spectrum

    Autism is a spectrum of conditions characterised by social, communicative, sensory-motor and cognitive difficulties. The social and psychological consequences can be profound. This 20-week course provides an accessible introduction to the autistic spectrum, principles and problems of diagnosis, and biological and psychological approaches to explaining underlying causes.

  5. 5  Paul Brodie's Website

    Paul Brodie's Website

    You'll find more information about Paul, Secondhand Autism and his other interests like music and comics (and even zombies).

  6. 6  Learn the Signs of Autism

    Learn the Signs of Autism

    Autism Speaks is dedicated to increasing awareness of autism spectrum disorders, to funding research into the causes, prevention and treatments for autism, and to advocating for the needs of individuals with autism and their families.

  7. 7  Autism and Asperger's: Two Separate Conditions, or Not?

    Autism and Asperger's: Two Separate Conditions, or Not?

    One of the most interesting ASD studies to emerge this year is titled, The relationship of Asperger’s syndrome to autism: a preliminary EEG coherence study. It’s brought to us by a team from Boston Children’s Hospital: Frank Duffy, Aditi Shankardass, Gloria B McAnulty, and Heidelise Als.

  8. 8  DSM-V: What Changes May Mean | Autism Research Institute

    DSM-V: What Changes May Mean | Autism Research Institute

    Updates to the APA in DSM-V - What do the changes mean to families living with Autism? The American Psychiatric Association board of trustees met Dec.

  9. 9  Five Great Apps for Kids with Autism

    Five Great Apps for Kids with Autism

    My name is Melissa Morganlander and my 5-year-old son, Quentin, has been diagnosed with PDD-NOS, a form of autism. Here are five great apps that have helped him greatly, which I have reviewed on my blog, the iQ Journals. 1.

  10. 10  Facilitated Communication: A Price Too High To Pay

    Facilitated Communication: A Price Too High To Pay
    1. There are so many statements in this blog entry that I wish to comment and question, but let me start with just one quote from the section written by Professor James Todd. 2. In the middle of the second paragraph of his section, Professor Todd writes: "The family in the case was at those training sessions, as was I.
  11. 11  Our Prairie Home

    Our Prairie Home

    Paul recommends this blog: "We are a homesteading, homeschooling family working towards living a more agrarian lifestyle...Our son, Pookie, is our youngest blessing and has Classic Autism. Though autistic, he is very bright, full of laughter and joy."

  12. 12  A novel screening method makes it easier to diagnose and treat children with autism

    A novel screening method makes it easier to diagnose and treat children with autism

    Researchers have developed a new screening method to diagnose autism, which unlike current methods does not rely on subjective criteria. These results are published in a series of studies in the open-access journal Frontiers in Neuroscience.

  13. 13  Self-Injurious Behavior | Autism Research Institute

    Self-Injurious Behavior | Autism Research Institute

    Intervention. Nutritional and medical interventions can be implemented to normalize the person's biochemistry; this, in turn, may reduce the severe behavior. Although drugs are often used to increase serotonin levels or to decrease dopamine levels, the Autism Research Institute in San Diego has received reports from thousands of parents who have given their son/daughter vitamin B6, calcium and/or DMG.

  14. 14  Medical journal: Study linking autism, vaccines is 'elaborate fraud'

    Medical journal: Study linking autism, vaccines is 'elaborate fraud'

    (CNN) -- A now-retracted British study that linked autism to childhood vaccines is an "elaborate fraud," according to a medical journal -- a charge the physician behind the study vigorously denies.

  15. 15  Vaccine Safety

    Vaccine Safety

    A new study evaluating parents' concerns of "too many vaccines too soon" and autism has been published online in the Journal of Pediatrics [PDF - 256 KB] , March 29, 2013. It adds to the conclusion of a 2004 comprehensive review by the Institute of Medicine (IOM) that there is not a causal relationship between certain vaccine types and autism.

  16. 16  History of Autism Infographics

    History of Autism Infographics

    An excellent infographic on the history of Autism.

Ep 202: How To Memorize Freud’s Stages of Psychosexual Development


Need to memorize Freud’s stages of psychosexual development for a test? Here’s a mnemonic that should do the trick. In this brief video, the founder of psychoanalysis gives you a mnemonic and explains the 5 stages for you. What do orangutans and ogres have to do with Freud’s stages? They’ll help you remember them, that’s what. Find out how in this episode and make sure to check out these other Psych Files episodes for psychology mnemonics: How to Memorize the Parts of the Brain, How to Memorize Erikson’s Eight Stages, and How to Memorize Piaget’s Stages of Cognitive Development. I love mnemonics here on The Psych Files so if you need to memorize anything else let me know!

Ep 197: Using the Word Guys for Women, Robots Helping the Elderly and Supernormal Foods

Should we stop using “Guys” to refer to groups of women and mixed sex groups? Why do we (particularly men) refer to many objects – like cars and boats – as “she”? Are everyday foods actually “SuperNormal” foods – created to be absolutely irresistible and therefore causing us to be overweight? Is it okay to employ robots to care for our elderly? And finally, how come the ending of a movie can “ruin the whole thing” if it’s not a good ending? After all, you enjoyed most of the movie. In this episode I try to address these questions. We’ll talk about all these things in this episode of The Psych Files.
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