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Thorndike's Theory of Learning

Thorndike's Theory of Learning



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Published by: goody0212 on Aug 06, 2009
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Thorndike's Theory of Learning
1)The most basic form of learning is trial and error learning.2)Learning is incremental not insightful.3)Learning is not mediated by ideas.4)All mammals learn in the same manner.5)Law of readiness Interference with goal directed behavior causes frustration and causingsomeone to do something they do not want to do is also frustrating.a.When someone is ready to perform some act, to do so is satisfying. b.When someone is ready to perform some act, not to do so is annoying.c.When someone is not ready to perform some act and is forced to do so, it is annoying.6)Law of Exercise We learn by doing. We forget by not doing, although to a small extentonly.a.Connections between a stimulus and a response are strengthened as they are used.(law of use) b.Connections between a stimulus and a response are weakened as they are not used.(law of disuse)7)Law of effect If the response in a connection is followed by a satisfying state of affairs, thestrength of the connection is considerably increased whereas if followed by an annoying stateof affairs, then the strength of the connection is marginally decreased.8)Multiple Responses A learner would keep trying multiple responses to solve a problem before it is actually solved.9)Set or Attitude Set or attitude is what the learner already possesses, like prior learningexperiences, present state of the learner, etc., while it begins learning a new task.10)Prepotency of Elements Different responses to the same environment would be evoked bydifferent perceptions of the environment which act as the stimulus to the responses. Different perceptions would be subject to the prepotency of different elements for different perceivers.11)Response from analogy New problems are solved by using solution techniques employedto solve analogous problems.12)Associative Shifting Let stimulus S be paired with response R. Now, if stimulus Q is presented simultaneously with stimulus S repeatedly, then stimulus Q is likely to get pairedwith response R.13)Belongingness If there is a natural relationship between the need state of an organism andthe effect caused by a response, learning is more effective than if the relationship is unnatural.
Theory of emotion
James is one of the two namesakes of theJames-Lange theoryof emotion,which he formulated independently of Carl Lange in the 1880s. The theory holds that emotion is the mind's perception of physiological conditions that result from some stimulus. In James' oft-cited example; it is not that we see a bear, fear it, and run. We see a bear and run,consequently we fear the bear. Our mind's perceptionof the higher adrenaline level,heartbeat, etc., is the emotion.This way of thinking about emotion has great consequences for the philosophy of aesthetics.Here is a passage from his great work,
 Principles of Psychology
, that spells out thoseconsequences.
[W]e must immediately insist that aesthetic emotion, pure and simple, the pleasure given us by certainlines and masses, and combinations of colors and sounds, is an absolutely sensational experience, anoptical or auricular feeling that is primary, and not due to the repercussion backwards of other sensations elsewhere consecutively aroused. To this simple primary and immediate pleasure in certain  pure sensations and harmonious combinations of them, there may, it is true, be added secondary pleasures; and in the practical enjoyment of works of art by the masses of mankind these secondary pleasures play a great part. The more classic one's taste is, however, the less relatively important arethe secondary pleasures felt to be, in comparison with those of the primary sensation as it comes in.Classicismandromanticismhave their battles over this point. Complex suggestiveness, the awakening of vistas of memory and association, and the stirring of our flesh with picturesque mysteryand gloom, make a work of art romantic. The classic taste brands these effects as coarse and tawdry,and prefers the naked beauty of the optical and auditory sensations, unadorned with frippery or foliage. To the romantic mind, on the contrary, the immediate beauty of these sensations seems dryand thin. I am of course not discussing which view is right, but only showing that the discrimination between the primary feeling of beauty, as a pure incoming sensible quality, and the secondaryemotions which are grafted thereupon, is one that must be made.
[edit] William James' bear
FromJoseph LeDoux's description of William James'
Why do we run away if we notice that we are in danger? Because we areafraid of what will happen if we don't. This obvious (and incorrect) answerto a seemingly trivial question has been the central concern of a century-old debate about the nature of our emotions.It all began in 1884 when William James published an article titled "What Isan Emotion?"
The article appeared in a philosophy journal called
,as there were no psychology journals yet. It was important, not because itdefinitively answered the question it raised, but because of the way inwhich James phrased his response. He conceived of an emotion in terms of a sequence of events that starts with the occurrence of an arousingstimulus {thesympathetic nervous systemor theparasympathetic nervous system}; and ends with a passionate feeling, a consciousemotional experience. A major goal of emotion research is still to elucidatethis stimulus-to-feeling sequence—to figure out what processes comebetween the stimulus and the feeling. James set out to answer his question by asking another: do we run from abear because we are afraid or are we afraid because we run? He proposed
that the obvious answer, that we run because we are afraid, was
,and instead argued that we are afraid because we run:Our natural way of thinking about... emotions is that the mentalperception of some fact excites the mental affection called emotion, andthat this latter state of mind gives rise to the bodily expression. My thesison the contrary is that the bodily changes follow directly the PERCEPTIONof the exciting fact, and that our feeling of the same changes as theyoccur is the emotion (called 'feeling' byDamasio). The essence of James' proposal was simple. It was premised on the factthat emotions are often accompanied by bodily responses (racing heart,tight stomach, sweaty palms, tense muscles, and so on;sympatheticnervous system) and that we can sense what is going on inside our bodymuch the same as we can sense what is going on in the outside world.According to James, emotions feel different from other states of mindbecause they have these bodily responses that give rise to internalsensations, and different emotions feel different from one another becausethey are accompanied by different bodily responses and sensations. Forexample, when we see James' bear, we run away. During this act of escape, the body goes through a physiological upheaval: blood pressurerises, heart rate increases, pupils dilate, palms sweat, muscles contract incertain ways (evolutionary, innate defense mechanisms). Other kinds of emotional situations will result in different bodily upheavals. In each case,the physiological responses return to the brain in the form of bodilysensations, and the unique pattern of sensory feedback gives eachemotion its unique quality. Fear feels different from anger or love becauseit has a different physiological signature {theparasympathetic nervoussystemfor love}. The mental aspect of emotion, the feeling, is a slave toits physiology, not vice versa: we do not tremble because we are afraid orcry because we feel sad; we are afraid because we tremble and are sadbecause we cry.
[edit] Philosophy of history

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