Dr. John A. Nevin, known as Tony, studied marine engineering at Yale University and served five years in the Coast Guard before encountering experimental psychology, which proved to be surprisingly compatible with his background in engineering and physical science. His graduate studies at Columbia University combined human psychophysics and color vision with behavioral analyses of conditioned reinforcement in rats and matching to sample in pigeons. After receiving his Ph.D. in 1963, he taught at Swarthmore College until 1968. He returned to Columbia from 1968 until 1972, where he served two years as department chair. To the delight of his five children, he then moved to the relatively rural University of New Hampshire, where he remained until retirement in 1995. After retirement he lived on Martha’s Vineyard, where he engaged in community and environmental conservation projects while maintaining research collaborations in Utah and New Zealand. The post-retirement persistence of his research and theoretical work on behavioral momentum was itself an instance of momentum, based on the many reinforcers he was privileged to enjoy throughout his life.
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