Psychological Interpretation of B.F. Skinner's "Walden Two"

Essay by Anonymous UserUniversity, Bachelor'sA+, January 1996

download word file, 11 pages 4.0

Downloaded 149 times

Good essay for psych 101 and other intro level courses none


psych. Reed

Walden Two

Walden Two, by B.F. Skinner was published by the Macmillan Company in 1948 is a spinoff of Henry David Thoreau's Walden. It is an expansion of the creation of a Utopian society. The society is the creation of T.E. Frazier and is run under his guidance. The story starts with Professor Burris being prompted by one of his prior students to find some information on the existence of Walden Two. The gentleman are asked to visit Walden Two and travel as a group of six. Joining Burris and Rogers, the student, are: Steve, a friend of Rogers from the war, Rogers and Steve's girlfriends, and Castle, a fellow professor. During their visit to the society, questions are raised about the legitimacy of the group. After living as a member of the society for several days, Steve and his girlfriend, along with Professor Burris decide to become members of the society.

Walden Two is the story of the creation of an ideal society that meets the needs of its members through behavioral engineering and the use of other psychological methods.

Skinner constantly refers to the field of psychology for the basis of his book. He maintains that by engineering youth through psychological techniques that the bad parts of human nature can be removed and create a better society. Parts of human behavior such as jealousy and hatred are negative aspects of a non-conditioned society. The main focus is on the use of behavioral engineering through conditioned reflexes and experimental theories. Burris does a case study with one of the elderly women of the society to gain knowledge that is unbiased about the society. One theory is gradual deconditioning of the negatives from human...