Skinner Calls Mag. Article's Quotes 'False

Blasts 'Look Story As Very Inaccurate

Burrhus F. Skinner, professor of Psychology, yesterday attacked "Look magazine for a pictorial feature on his work and termed it "very inaccurate.

Skinner considered taking libel action again "Look," but decided instead to write a scathing letter to Gardine Cowles '25, publisher of the magazine Skinner reports that Cowles promised to take the matter up with "Look" editor Joseph Roddy, who wrote the story Skinner has dropped plans for any action except to release a statement about his work through the Harvard University News Office.

The "Look" article, which will appear on newsstands Wednesday, illustrate and describes Skinner teaching a dog to perform simple tricks. Skinner report that he and Charles B. Ferster, research fellow in Psychology, were both misquoted by Roddy.

"One of the shots," said Skinner "shows a dog placing his paw on a playing card. They have quoted Dr. Ferster as saying he could teach a dog to play poker in 17 minutes. We never mentioned poker."

Fester added that, at Roddy's insistence, "the paw on the card picture was faked."


"Look's" article has soured Skinner or journalistic coverage of his experiments "Roddy came to me with a dog, asked me to train it to do a few tricks, which would be photographed, and promised to treat the experiment in a dignified manner."