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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Ep 225: What’s Best for Memory – Coffee or a Nap – or Both?

You may have been heard that taking a nap or going to sleep after you learn something helps you to retain it (which is true), but you may also have heard that drinking coffee helps your memory. So which is it? How can you drink coffee AND take a nap? Well, apparently you can get the benefit of both – if you do it right. In this episode we not only learn about the so-called “students’ coffee” but we learn about the “coffee nap”. If you do it just right you can get some great memory boosts.


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Effective Study Practices, Coffee and Naps

  • My episode on the most effective study techniques
  • The Coffitivity Website
  • Is Noise Always Bad? Exploring the Effects of Ambient Noise on Creative Cognition
  • Caffeine can help jolt your memory
  • …there is no magic in taking caffeine five minutes after something that occurs that you need to remember. “Before or between or after or during, it would all work,” he said. “The only thing I would say is don’t drink caffeine to pull an all-nighter. Sleep is really good for memory, but if you are going to drink coffee to stay up you won’t get the boost from either one.” – Caffeine can help jolt…

  • The Science Behind What Naps Do For Your Brain and Why You Should Have One Today

  • Naps have been shown to benefit the learning process, helping us take in and retain information better….After memorizing a set of cards, they had a 40-minute break wherein one group napped, and the other stayed awake. After the break, both groups were tested on their memory of the cards, and the group who had napped performed better:….Research indicates that when memory is first recorded in the brain–in the hippocampus, to be specific–it’s still “fragile” and easily forgotten, especially if the brain is asked to memorize more things. Napping, it seems, pushes memories to the neocortex, the brain’s “more permanent storage,” preventing them from being “overwritten.” – The Science Behind…

  • Scientists agree: Coffee naps are better than coffee or naps alone
  • Caffeine Improves Long-Term Memory When Consumed After Learning

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

    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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    Ep 222: How To Remember Jokes

    Mnemonic image for remembering 4 jokes: dead cat, flipping coins, toast and ice cream, twins. How many times have you wanted to remember a joke at a party but you just can’t? Well, there IS a way to remember jokes and I have got 4 jokes for you along with a mnemonic to help you remember all 4 of them. I challenge you to listen to these 4 jokes, then listen to and picture my mnemonic images. Then wait a little while and go through the mnemonic image and I guarantee you’ll remember all 4 jokes.



    Remembering anything for more than a few minutes requires not only repetition, but also something else that will make the to-be-remembered thing stick in your head. That thing can be a mnemonic device. In this episode I’ll use a combination of the keyword technique, crazy images and a modified approach to the method of loci. I’ll use your body to help you remember these jokes. Let’s have some fun.


    Ep 213: Leveraging Our Natural Curiosity for Learning (and for Blog and Video Clicks)

    How do we motivate you to click online? Well, we don’t necessarily have to pay you to get you to do things (extrinsic motivation) because you’re already a curious person. We also don’t necessarily have to find things you’re already interested in (intrinsic motivation) we just have to find things that are naturally interesting to all of us to get you excited about learning or interested in clicking on a link. How does our attraction to puzzles, questions, and unsolved mysteries get used to get us to click on videos or blog posts? And how can it be used to get students to want to learn (motivation to learn)? You’ll find out that there are ways to get students excited about learning without having to pay them and there are ways to attract people to your content by tapping into their natural curiosity. Just don’t overuse it (watch out UpWorthy) and don’t fail to deliver! Hopefully this episode will deliver on introducing you to some new ideas to help you motivate others.

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