Trivia

Hard

Famed Psychologist B.F. Skinner Once Taught Pigeons To?

Count Cards
Play the National Anthem
Play Ping-Pong
Use Morse Code
Pigeons playing ping-pong in a specially constructed enclosure.
B.F. Skinner Foundation

Answer: Play Ping-Pong

B.F. Skinner was a highly influential 20th-century psychologist who founded the Radical Behaviorism school of psychological inquiry. He was singularly focused not on understanding the human mind as the psychologists that preceded him were, but in understanding how the environmental factors around us gave rise to our actions—a process he called operant conditioning.

He studied animals extensively over his career and used them as models to study operant conditioning wherein he could take even the smallest tasks, and through careful reinforcement, string them together so that the animal would perform them. Although his experiments were always serious scientific inquiries, Skinner was never against injecting a bit of levity into his work.

One of the more notable examples of this was his 1950 experiment wherein he taught pigeons to play what looked a whole lot like a game of ping-pong. The birds were trained, through his conditioning techniques, to want to knock the ball past the other bird because, in doing so, they would unlock the feeding box on their side of the cage and be rewarded.

More Trivia Questions

Trivia

Easy

Which Laboratory Boasts The Most Nobel Prize Winners?

Trivia

Hard

The Largest Number Of Country Names Start With The Letter?

M S
U T

Trivia

Hard

Cheap Cardboard Records Used As Promotional Tools Throughout The 20th Century Were Known As?

Trivia

Hard

NASA Carefully Timed Space Shuttle Flights To Avoid What?

Trivia

Easy

The Largest Group Of Mammals, By Species, Is Composed Of?

Trivia

Hard

Which Pixar Film Was Simultaneously Their Last VHS Release And First Blu-Ray Release?

Trivia

Hard

In 2004 The FDA Approved What Ancient Medical Technique?

Trivia

Hard

The Largest Jellyfish Species In The World Is The?

Trivia

Hard

Which Of These Streaming Services Originally Cost A Dollar An Hour?