To be skinnered is to be drawn into an addictive behaviour by *intentional* B.F. Skinner inspired psychological tricks.
B.F. Skinner observed the behaviour of pigeons and rats in boxes which were rigged with buttons to release food. Where the switch consistently released food, the subjects were satiated, and only called for food when desired.
When the switch only dropped food randomly, the subjects pushed the button incessantly, whether they were hungry or not, and developed superstitious behaviours (looking over their shoulder). Perhaps they knew they could not trust the machine to give them food every time, and thus felt the need to stock pile as much as possible from this source? Perhaps they were trying to "game" the system - to learn how to get it to work consistently? Either way, they were hooked.
Many gambling machines lean heavily on this technique. In recent years, subscription based models of videogaming (notably MMOs) have used this approach in their game mechanics to encourage players to play for as long as possible, renewing their subscriptions at every payment interval.
However, now even web 2.0 style websites will reward schemes for mundane excercises.
To be skinnered, then, is to be duped into doing a repetitious task that you don't necessarily want to do, but have been compelled into doing by the application B.F. Skinner's psychological studies.
Johnny's not coming out tonight. He got skinnered by Starcraft II.
I don't actually want to use this app, but I'm skinnered by the banana points.
I got home, fully intended to go to bed early, but got stuck in the skinner box.
Felt totally skinnered by this otherwise unpleasant game. Stupid achievement points. I'm not playing because I want to. I'm playing because of a fucking carrot dangled infront of my face. I have no will power.
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