MISBEHAVING


On radical behaviorism and counterculture environments in Volume 33
In the 1950’s and 60’s, the interior became a site for investigation and action. This new interest in interior environments can be understood through the shifts in psychology in the post-war period. B.F. Skinner was a major figure of the era, and his concept of ‘radical behaviorism’ was both influential and controversial. Though behaviorism was by no means a novel concept at the time, Skinner’s writing in both scientific and popular forums pushed his ideas into broader discussion. This essay establishes a genealogy of the interior as a controlled environment that is designed as a technology to produce social effects. If the room is initially reactivated in the early post-war period as a laboratory to study behavior and perception, by the late 1960s figures such as Andy Warhol and Verner Panton seize on it as a technology for producing counter-cultural effects.