Thorndike - Edward Lee Thorndike (1874-1949) Chapter 4 1...

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1 1 Edward Lee Thorndike (1874-1949) Chapter 4 2 Edward Lee Thorndike 1. Thorndike was born in Williamsburg, Massachusetts on Aug. 31, 1874. 2. Read “ Principles of Psychology ”. Worked with James and Cattell. 3. Wrote Animal Intelligence (1911). (1874-1949) faculty.frostburg.edu 3 Edward Lee Thorndike 4. The most meticulous experimental psychologist. 5. First formal learning theory. 6. Died in 1949. (1874-1949)
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2 4 Before Thorndike Descartes (1596-1650) Humans and non-human animals functioned similarly based on mechanical principles however this did not spark any behavioral studies in animals. Darwin (1809-1882) Initiated animal research suggesting that humans and animals had similar anatomy, emotions and cognitions. The Expression of Emotions in Man and Animals (1872), considered first text on comparative psychology. 5 Before Thorndike Romanes (1848-1894) Supported the idea of continuity of intelligence, emotional behavior anecdotally among species, anthropomorphizing human traits in animals. Animal Intelligence (1882). Morgan (1842-1936) “We should not attribute a behavior to complex cognitive processes when it can be explained with one that is less complex (Hergenhan, 1997)”. Introduction to Comparative Psychology (1891). 6 Washburn (1871-1939) First woman to have a PhD., in psychology. Started conducting laboratory experiments with animals, but no controls. The Animal Mind, (1908). Thorndike (1874-1949) Thorndike brought methodological innovations in animal and human experimentation. Carefully described behavior with proper experimental and control conditions.
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3 7 Connectionism 1. Thorndike’s theory of learning is called connectionism . He described it as the association between sense impressions and impulses to action. 2. Earlier on, associationism proposed linking of one idea with another (cf. Aristotle). Functional analysis of responses (R) in the context of stimuli (S) lead Thorndike to propose that S-R connection was neural in nature. First formal theory of learning. 8 Trial-and-Error Learning 1. Thorndike early learning experiments involved training cats to escape a puzzle box. This form of learning was called trial-and-error learning (or selecting and connecting) . 2. The puzzle box consisted of pole or a chain hanging from the top. The cat would push the pole or pull the chain to escape out of the box. 9 Trial-and-Error Learning: Results Results of the puzzle box experiment suggested that time to solve the problem decreased as a function of trials. 0 100 200 300 400 500 600 700 4 8 12 16 20 24 28 32 36 40 Successive Trials Time to Escape (Seconds)
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4 10 Trial-and-Error Learning: Conclusions Learning is incremental (blue line) and not insightful (red line). Animal learns by doing not by thinking or reasoning. 0 100
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This note was uploaded on 03/09/2010 for the course PSY 2533 taught by Professor Ahmad during the Fall '09 term at Henderson.

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Thorndike - Edward Lee Thorndike (1874-1949) Chapter 4 1...

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