The Behavior of Organisms

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The Behavior of Organisms
First edition
Author B.F. Skinner
Country United States
Language English
Subject Behavior analysis, Behaviorology
Publisher Appleton-Century
Publication date
Pages 457

The Behavior of Organisms is B.F. Skinner's first book and was published in May 1938 as a volume of the Century Psychology Series.[1] It set out the parameters for the discipline that would come to be called the experimental analysis of behavior (EAB) and Behavior Analysis. This book was reviewed in 1939 by Ernest R. Hilgard.[2] Skinner looks at science behaviour and how the analysis of behaviour produces data which can be studied, rather than acquiring data through a conceptual or neural process. In the book, behaviour is classified either as respondent or operant behaviour, where respondent behaviour is caused by an observable stimulus and operant behaviour is where there is no observable stimulus for a behaviour. The behaviour is studied in depth with rats and the feeding responses they exhibit.[3]


  1. B.F. Skinner (1938). The Behavior of Organisms: An Experimental Analysis. Cambridge, Massachusetts: B.F. Skinner Foundation. ISBN 1-58390-007-1, ISBN 0-87411-487-X
  2. Ernest R. Hilgard (1939). "Review of B.F. Skinner's The Behavior of Organisms". Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior (1988), 50(2), pp. 283–286.
  3. Skinner, B.F. (1938). The behavior of organisms: an experimental analysis. Oxford, England: Appleton-Century. p. 457. 

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