Susan M. Schneider, Ph.D.
A scientific generalist with a broad perspective,
biopsychologist Susan Schneider obtained her graduate
education from Brown University (mechanical engineering) and
the University of Kansas, and her multifaceted career includes
a stint in the Peace Corps. She taught the science of
consequences to Ph.D. students at Auburn University, and at
Florida International University, she was the Associate
Director of the Developmental Psychobiology laboratory. She
has published numerous research and theoretical articles and
book chapters, including pioneering studies on generalization
and choice. She's taught over a dozen different psychology
courses, including cognitive psychology, social psychology,
comparative psychology, statistics, research methods, and
history of psychology. She began the extensive research for
the book in 2001.
Schneider is currently a Visiting Scholar at the University of
the Pacific. The Science of Consequences is her first book.
scienceofconsequences at yahoo.com
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© 2012 Susan M. Schneider
* Over twenty-five years of research and scholarship in the science of consequences and
* Has been a professor at St. Olaf College and a Visiting Research Fellow at the University of
Auckland in New Zealand.
* Has long championed the inclusive "systems theory" approach to nature-nurture relations,
culminating in reviews in 2003 and 2007. Her 2003 review was one of the most viewed articles on the
journal's website for several years.
* Published in journals as varied as American Psychologist, International Journal of Comparative
Psychology, Developmental Psychobiology, Psychonomic Bulletin and Review, Behavioural
Processes, European Journal of Developmental Science, Analysis of Verbal Behavior, Journal of
Environmental Psychology, Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior, and The Behavior
* Nearly 100 scientific presentations, including invited addresses at conferences and universities
across the United States.
* Has been a member of the American Psychological Association, Association for Behavior
Analysis, Comparative Cognition Society, International Society for Developmental Psychobiology,
and Society for the Quantitative Analyses of Behavior.
* Has served as a reviewer for many scientific journals, including American Psychologist, Animal
Cognition, Behavioural Brain Research, Developmental Science, Journal of the Experimental
Analysis of Behavior, and The Behavior Analyst.
* Schneider is an experienced naturalist who leads field trips and conducts scientific bird surveys,
and she's volunteered at the local nature center's "Bugfest." She also loves gardening.
Reflections on B. F. Skinner
B. F. Skinner was the Harvard psychologist whose
pioneering work decades ago did the most to establish
the science of consequences. I was very fortunate that
Skinner and I became friends during the last 15 years of
his life. Here's a link to an interview conducted by Dr.
Sophia Yin on how this came about: Link to interview
In the interview, I also discuss Skinner as the sage of
positive reinforcement, and I summarize his views on
nature-nurture relations, based on our conversations and
my reading of Skinner's many books and articles.
Skinner and I discussed psychology, philosophy,
biology, science in general, literature, music, education,
environmental issues, politics, and the future (which he
worried about). He also took an interest in my career.
Here are scans of two of the short, supportive letters he
wrote me: Link to correspondence
I haven't always followed his advice!
The handwritten note from 1983 came after I had joined
the Peace Corps and was about to head overseas. I've
also included the inscription on the first volume of his
autobiography, which he sent to me not long after it
came out. Talk about positive reinforcement . . .
A brief anecdote: When I became an engineering
graduate student at Brown, I was close enough to visit
Skinner at Harvard. I had misunderstood his instructions
about chatting over lunch, and brought a bag lunch, so
we simply shared it!