Two psychology tidbits, both involving Skinner and Redenbacher:
First: Robin Abrahams, our psychology editor, notes that behaviorism psychologist B.F. Skinner and popcorn magnate Orville Redenbacher resembled each other [see photos here]. [NOTE: Can pigeons can be trained to distinguish photographs of one from photographs of the other? The experiment has not yet been done.]
Second: A Miami University of Ohio study by a different Skinner involving popcorn supplied by Redenbacher was reported in 2001:
POPCORN AND COLLEGE STUDENTS
Kristen DeLap, Bryan Galli, Jen Saum, Kirsten Skinner
ABSTRACT: To excite students about the scientific approach to viewing the natural world, laboratory exercises that rely on personal observation such as data collection and statistical interpretation will be explored. Students are asked to 1) Count popcorn, 2) determine, through statistics, the percent of popped kernels in the bag, and 3) decide whether the stated hypothesis is true: Orville Redenbacher’s Butter is the brand and type of popcorn that pops the most kernels. However, after conducting our research the data showed that Orville Redenbacher as a whole was the most efficient popping brand. Not only is this an educational experience, but it gives students a chance to consume America’s number one snack food.
BONUS: A video about B.F. Skinner’s research on training pigeons: