An introduction to the theory of thorndike the animal intelligence

Edward was raised in an environment marked by sternness and religious exhortation, but as a young adult chose to eschew religion and pursue a personal code derived from his commitment to inductivism. Thorndike completed his Bachelors degree at Wesleyan, inand went on with his graduate work at Harvard Universitywhere he eagerly signed up for courses with William James and eventually majored in psychology.

An introduction to the theory of thorndike the animal intelligence

By Saul McLeodupdated Operant conditioning is a method of learning that occurs through rewards and punishments for behavior.

Through operant conditioning, an individual makes an association between a particular behavior and a consequence Skinner, By the s, John B. Watson had left academic psychology, and other behaviorists were becoming influential, proposing new forms of learning other than classical conditioning.

Perhaps the most important of these was Burrhus Frederic Skinner. Although, for obvious reasons, he is more commonly known as B. Skinner's views were slightly less extreme than those of Watson Skinner believed that we do have such a thing as a mind, but that it is simply more productive to study observable behavior rather than internal mental events.

The work of Skinner was rooted in a view that classical conditioning was far too simplistic to be a complete explanation of complex human behavior. He believed that the best way to understand behavior is to look at the causes of an action and its consequences. He called this approach operant conditioning.

According to this principle, behavior that is followed by pleasant consequences is likely to be repeated, and behavior followed by unpleasant consequences is less likely to be repeated.

Skinner introduced a new term into the Law of Effect - Reinforcement. Behavior which is reinforced tends to be repeated i. Skinner identified three types of responses, or operant, that can follow behavior. Responses from the environment that increase the probability of a behavior being repeated.

Reinforcers can be either positive or negative. Responses from the environment that decrease the likelihood of a behavior being repeated. We can all think of examples of how our own behavior has been affected by reinforcers and punishers.

As a child you probably tried out a number of behaviors and learned from their consequences. For example, if when you were younger you tried smoking at school, and the chief consequence was that you got in with the crowd you always wanted to hang out with, you would have been positively reinforced i.

If, however, the main consequence was that you were caught, caned, suspended from school and your parents became involved you would most certainly have been punished, and you would consequently be much less likely to smoke now.

Positive Reinforcement Skinner showed how positive reinforcement worked by placing a hungry rat in his Skinner box.

An introduction to the theory of thorndike the animal intelligence

The box contained a lever on the side, and as the rat moved about the box, it would accidentally knock the lever. Immediately it did so a food pellet would drop into a container next to the lever. The rats quickly learned to go straight to the lever after a few times of being put in the box.

The consequence of receiving food if they pressed the lever ensured that they would repeat the action again and again. Positive reinforcement strengthens a behavior by providing a consequence an individual finds rewarding.

Negative Reinforcement The removal of an unpleasant reinforcer can also strengthen behavior. Negative reinforcement strengthens behavior because it stops or removes an unpleasant experience.

Skinner showed how negative reinforcement worked by placing a rat in his Skinner box and then subjecting it to an unpleasant electric current which caused it some discomfort. As the rat moved about the box it would accidentally knock the lever. Immediately it did so the electric current would be switched off.

The consequence of escaping the electric current ensured that they would repeat the action again and again. In fact Skinner even taught the rats to avoid the electric current by turning on a light just before the electric current came on. The rats soon learned to press the lever when the light came on because they knew that this would stop the electric current being switched on.

These two learned responses are known as Escape Learning and Avoidance Learning. Punishment weakens behavior Punishment is defined as the opposite of reinforcement since it is designed to weaken or eliminate a response rather than increase it.

It is an aversive event that decreases the behavior that it follows. It is not always easy to distinguish between punishment and negative reinforcement. There are many problems with using punishment, such as:The study of consciousness and the study of behaviorAnimal intelligenceThe instinctive reactions of young chicksA note on the psychology of fishesThe mental life of the monkeysLaw and hypotheses of behaviorThe evolution of the human intellectPages: Encourages Contact Between Students and plombier-nemours.comnt student-faculty contact in and out of classes is the most important factor in student motivation and involvement.

Edward Thorndike had a powerful impact on reinforcement theory and behavior analysis, Introduction to the Theory of Mental and Social Measurements () The Elements of Psychology () Animal Intelligence by Thorndike; Edward L.

Thorndike at plombier-nemours.com; Thorndike, E. L. (). Education: Roxbury Latin School. Skinner is regarded as the father of Operant Conditioning, but his work was based on Thorndike’s () law of plombier-nemours.coming to this principle, behavior that is followed by pleasant consequences is likely to be repeated, and behavior followed by unpleasant consequences is less likely to be repeated.

Guilford researched and developed a wide variety of psychometric tests to measure the specific abilities predicted by SI theory. These tests provide an operational definition of the many abilities proposed by the theory. Finally, the new sections of Animal Intelligence-- Thorndike's introductory apology for the study of behavior and his chapter on 'laws and hypotheses of behavior' -- were also innovative.

In his introduction to the book, Thorndike defended two propositions.

Classics in the History of Psychology -- Introduction to Thorndike () by R. H. Wozniak