Behavior Theory and Learning, Selected Papers

Behavior Theory and Learning, Selected Papers

Behavior Theory and Learning, Selected Papers

Behavior Theory and Learning, Selected Papers

Excerpt

The following collection of papers, while mostly theoretical in nature, includes a number of experimental articles that have served as vehicles for elaborating the behavior theory approach of the writer. Consisting of twenty previously published articles and two new papers, the volume offers a kind of behavior or activity sample of a psychologist who has not only been concerned with attempting to bring the kind of order into psychological phenomena that theories provide, but has also had an abiding interest in the nature and role of theory per se in this scientific endeavor.

This latter interest is reflected especially in the papers that have been grouped into Part I of the book. Primarily concerned with philosophical and methodological problems of psychology, i.e., its philosophy of science, these articles discuss both empirical questions relating to the requirements that scientific concepts must fulfill in order to be both testable and significant and the nature and role of theoretical structures in providing for scientific explanation in psychology. For the most part, the first three articles provide an exposition and analysis of the views of learning theorists as to the function of the theoretical constructs in their formulations. For example, in the first article, Hull's theorizing of the late thirties was revealed as not being of the type that began with the introduction of an axiomatic system which was later coordinated to empirical concepts as he thought, but as being essentially similar in nature to Tolman's intervening variable approach. Following the appear-

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