Twentieth Century Psychology: Recent Developments in Psychology

By Philip Lawrence Harriman | Go to book overview

RECENT DEVELOPMENTS IN CONDITIONING*

J. DONALD HARRIS
Medical Research Laboratory
U. S. Submarine Base, New London, Conn.

Inasmuch as many psychologists have recently turned to problems of more urgent nature, this review will not confine itself to studies appearing within the past year, but will cover instead the five-year period beginning roughly with 1939 and extending through 1943. A few earlier references are included for continuity's sake. It will thus overlap by perhaps a year the bibliography of Hilgard and Marquis ( 1940), but not the several reviews published a year or two previously. Space will be devoted to the evidence recently provided concerning several significant questions rather than to a bare report of every experiment performed within the period.


Is conditioning merely a "switching" job?

More and more it is being emphasized that, if conditioning is to be explained, other considerations must supplement what is known as "stimulus-substitution", the notion that the conditioned stimulus comes merely to act in lieu of the original or unconditioned stimulus in calling out some particular response. In this country, where motor responses have been studied more widely than glandular, it was early noticed that the conditioned response may not closely resemble the unconditioned reflex--may indeed involve movements of the antagonistic muscles. Even with Pav-

____________________
*
Communication No. 58 from the Laboratory of Psychology, University of Rochester, prepared with the collaboration of Elmer Culler, Director.

-429-

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