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P SYCHOLOGY 3351: L EARNING D. Rush McQueen, Ph.D. 334.399.1028 Day 4.

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Presentation on theme: "P SYCHOLOGY 3351: L EARNING D. Rush McQueen, Ph.D. 334.399.1028 Day 4."— Presentation transcript:

1 P SYCHOLOGY 3351: L EARNING D. Rush McQueen, Ph.D Day 4

2 Q UIZ 1. E.L. Thorndikes theories best fall under which school of thought? a) Voluntarism b) Structuralism c) Functionalism d) None of these 2. Thorndike first studied the behavior of: a) Frogs b) Dogs c) Chickens d) None of these 3. Connectionism refers to: a) Interpersonal relationships between family members. b) Bonds between atoms. c) Neural connections between stimulus and response. d) None of these. 4. To Thorndike, learning: a) Occurs by trial-and-error. b) Is incremental rather than insightful. c) Is not mediated by ideas. d) Is all of the above. 5. Thorndikes Revised Law of Effect states that: a) Reinforcement increases the strength of a connection. b) Punishment decreases the strength of a connection. c) Neither A nor B. d) Both A and B.

3 Q UIZ ( PART II) 6. Thorndikes concept of Belongingness suggests that: a) A response that satisfies the need state of an organism is easier to reinforce. b) The reinforcement of a response tends to reinforce similar or related responses. c) Both A and B. d) None of these. 7. Thorndikes concept of Spread of Effect suggests that: a) A response that satisfies the need state of an organism is easier to reinforce. b) The reinforcement of a response tends to reinforce similar or related responses. c) Both A and B. d) None of these. 7. Your text asserts that Thorndikes Associative Shifting is often used: a) In training animals. b) In advertising. c) Both of these. d) Neither of these. 8. According to your text, those critical of Thorndike were most often so because: a) He was a student of William James. b) His theories were deterministic, focused on automatic reactions rather than based on values. c) They felt he was cruel to the animals he used as research subjects. d) None of these. 9. Thorndike thought that good teaching was: a) Lecture-based. b) Based on clearly-established objectives. c) Within the capabilities of the learner. d) Both B and C.

4 E DWARD L EE T HORNDIKE (1874 – 1949) Born Williamsburg, Massachusetts Second son of a Methodist minister Undergraduate at Wesleyan University Read James Principles of Psychology Later attended Harvard and worked with James and became close Could not get lab space at Harvard so raised chicks in the James basement

5 E.L. T HORNDIKE M AJOR T HEORETICAL C ONCEPTS Connectionism: the idea that there is a neural connection between stimulus (S) and response (R) Selecting and Connecting: trial-and-error learning; what works is repeated Incremental learning: small steps rather than moments of insight Ideas as unnecessary: parsimony – reasoning is not necessary All mammals learn in the same manner

6 T HORNDIKE S P UZZLE B OXES Video Clip

7 T HORNDIKE AFTER 1930 Revised Law of Effect: reinforcement increases the strength of a connection, whereas punishment does nothing to the strength of a connection Belongingness: learning occurs more readily if there is a natural relationship between the need state of the organism and the effect caused by the response Spread of Effect: reinforcement spreads to responses surrounding the reinforced one

8 T HORNDIKE ON E DUCATION 1. Consider the situation the student faces. 2. Consider the response you wish to connect with it. 3. Form the bond; do not expect it to come by a miracle. 4. Other things being equal, form no bond that will have to be broken. 5. Other things being equal, do not two or three bonds when one will do. 6. Other things being equal, form bonds in the way that they are required later to act. 7. Favor, therefore, the situations which life itself will offer, and the responses which life itself will demand.


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