Behaviorism, Neobehaviorism, and Cognitivism in Learning Theory: Historical and Contemporary Perspectives

By Abram Amsel | Go to book overview

Preface

I was undecided about what to present in The MacEachran Lectures, on which this slim volume is based, for I had in mind two quite different things. One was a review of my own theoretical and experimental work. (In psychology, unlike in physics, theory and experiments usually reside in a single investigator.) The second possible subject I saw stemmed from my dissatisfaction, not to say unhappiness, with the current state of affairs in the field of learning theory--specifically in learning theory involving animals--that followed the so-called "cognitive revolution" in psychology. I concluded that I would never have a better forum in which, or a better platform from which, I might express my views on this second subject, so I decided to proceed with the latter, more polemical alternative.

I want to make clear at the beginning how I would characterize this essay. Though not a philosopher, I will be venturing into a realm of discourse that is known as philosophy of science; and though not a historian, I will be dabbling in the history of psychology, unabetted by the scholarly sweep of more distant historical perspective. I would, then, characterize the lectures as criticism-- and a one-man's-opinion kind of criticism at that. My credentials for being thus engaged are no more impressive--though no less,

-xi-

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Behaviorism, Neobehaviorism, and Cognitivism in Learning Theory: Historical and Contemporary Perspectives
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • John M. Maceachran Memorial Lecture Series ii
  • Title Page v
  • Contents ix
  • Preface xi
  • 1: Setting the Stage 1
  • 2 - Issues Surrounding the Old and the New Learning Theory 31
  • 3 - Representational and Non-Representational Levels of Functioning: A Possible Conciliation 61
  • References 89
  • Author Index 99
  • Subject Index 103
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