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David Palmer

With undergraduate degrees in geology and English, Dave Palmer knew nothing about behaviorism until he stumbled on Skinner’s Walden Two. He was electrified and soon became a public nuisance trying to persuade all-and-sundry of the merits of a behavioral interpretation of human problems. After a decade of fruitlessly attempting to start an experimental community, he turned to graduate school. He studied inter-response times and conditioned reinforcement in pigeons at the University of Massachusetts under John Donahoe in the early 1980s. Upon graduation, he took a job teaching statistics and behavior analysis at Smith College, where he remains today. His interests in behavior analysis are broad, but his main contributions have all been attempts to extend Skinner's interpretive accounts of human behavior, particularly in the domains of language, memory, problem solving, and private events. Together with John Donahoe, he authored the text, Learning and Complex Behavior, which attempts to offer a comprehensive biobehavioral account of such phenomena. He still thinks Skinner was right about nearly everything.