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Rat in a Skinner box. A Skinner box is an enclosed environment in which the behaviour of a research animal can be studied. The animal is given a stimulus and its response is noted. This rat is in a box with a lever. Such levers can perform numerous functions, both positive ones such as releasing food or negative ones such as giving an electric shock. The box allows the process of adapting and learning to be followed in a controlled setting. The box, technically known as an operant conditioning chamber, is named after its inventor, the US psychologist B F Skinner (1904-1990).
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