Skip to main content

Walden Two - Review


Walden Two by B.F. Skinner

Reviewed by

  Geoffrey W. Sutton

Walden Two by B.F. Skinner


Walden Two is a utopian novel that presents an experimental community where life is drastically simplified and happiness is obtained through a scientific approach to behavioral engineering. The story begins with two young men, Rogers and Steve, who visit Professor Burris after returning from World War II. They inquire about a man named Frazier and the new society he is trying to build.


Frazier, a former classmate of Burris, has created a community named Walden Two based on principles of behaviorism. This community, home to about a thousand people, operates on the idea that human behavior can be controlled by manipulating contingencies of reinforcements and punishments. The inhabitants live in communal dwellings, eat in common dining spaces, raise their children in a communal nursery, and grow and build much of what they need. The standard workday lasts only four hours, and no one earns wages.

 The visitors, including Burris, Rogers, Steve, and their companions, take a tour of Walden Two and experience its lifestyle during a three-day visit. Each visitor reacts differently to the community. Although Castle finds it abhorrent, Burris is intrigued by the concept, and Steve and Mary decide to stay.

 Walden Two represents Skinner's vision of a society that has rejected free will and instead embraced a scientific approach to controlling behavior for the greater good. The novel explores the balance between individual freedom and social order, raising questions about the nature of utopia and the role of behavioral science in shaping society.


APA References

Skinner, B. F. (1948). Walden Two. New York: Macmillan.

Sutton, G. W. (2004, January 9). Walden Two-Review. Retrieved from

I read the book and used Bing Chat to help with the review. 



Geoffrey W. Sutton, PhD is Emeritus Professor of Psychology. He retired from a clinical practice and was credentialed in clinical neuropsychology and psychopharmacology. His website is


See Geoffrey Sutton’s books on   AMAZON       or  GOOGLE STORE

Follow on    FACEBOOK   Geoff W. Sutton    

   TWITTER  @Geoff.W.Sutton    

You can read many published articles at no charge:

  Academia   Geoff W Sutton     ResearchGate   Geoffrey W Sutton 


Popular posts from this blog

Denial of Death and the Meaningful Life- Book Review

  The Denial of Death   by Ernest Becker A Review by Geoffrey W. Sutton The prospect of death, Dr. Johnson said, wonderfully concentrates the mind. The main thesis of this book is that it does much more than that: the idea of death, the fear of it, haunts the human animal like nothing else; it is a mainspring of human activity—activity designed largely to avoid the fatality of death, to overcome it by denying in some way that it is the final destiny for man.  — Ernest Becker, xvii I completed a recent reading of this old classic yesterday (13 December, 2015) because I was interested in Becker’s contribution to Terror Management Theory, which I find so helpful in understanding the ways U.S. leaders are publicly responding to terrorist activities. Becker’s ideas are more than forty years old and many have not withstood the test of time. However, his basic premise that we deny the reality of death in many ways remains valid

A Christmas Carol offers lessons in Psychology and Faith A Book Review

A Christmas Carol By Charles Dickens A Review by Geoffrey W. Sutton My copy of A Christmas Carol was a gift on Christmas day, 1963. Two Christmases before I had walked the cold, fog-laden, smog drenched streets of Old London with my dad whilst my mother visited with her family. It was a grey day and a grey week. We took turns warming parts of our body by fireplaces here and there. After five years in the U.S. we had returned home to London on the occasion of my maternal grandmother’s death.  Dickens’ story paints a familiar tale textured by my early memories and enriched today by having watched my favourite rendition of A Christmas Carol ( 1984 ) with my wife on Christmas eve. My interest in reviewing the book is not just for a pleasant walk about the old streets of London but I'm motivated by a sense of appreciation for the poetic and colourful artistry with which Dickens plumbs the hopes and fears of humanity. So, follow

WILLPOWER Setting & Reaching Goals- Book Review by Sutton

WILLPOWER Rediscovering the Greatest    Human Strength By Roy Baumeister & John Tierney Reviewed by Geoffrey W. Sutton I go to a gym, which is crowded in January. Regulars know the early Happy-New-Year commitments to fitness will weaken sometime in February. Roy Baumeister has spent a good part of his career studying self-control. His book, Willpower   written with Tierney,  entertains and informs us with an organized set of findings explaining factors that influence self-control. Two critical factors weaken our judgments: food and sleep. We need glucose and sleep to be at our best when it comes to making wise decisions and marking progress toward our goals. A pretty woman can loosen a man’s grip on his career--we hear these news stories from time to time as one political group takes aim at each other's leaders--men who failed at sexual self-control and sadly blame women for their lack of self-control. Fat shaming happens. T