HULL - SPENCE BEHAVIOR THEORY AND MENTAL DEFICIENCY
Gordon N. Cantor
Behavior theory of the Hull-Spence variety is becoming an extensive and highly complex scientific system. Since relevance to the field of mental deficiency is the focus of concern in this volume, an attempt to do full justice to the Hull-Spence approach in the present chapter would, in the writer's opinion, be inappropriate. The ground to be covered would be too extensive. Much of the detail, while highly pertinent to behavior theory per se, would not be of great relevance to mental deficiency.
Accordingly, this chapter will not attempt a thorough survey of Hull- Spence behavior theory. The reader interested in such a presentation is referred to appropriate sections of Hilgard's Theories of Learning ( 1956) and to chapters by Logan ( 1959) and Koch ( 1954). The basic writings are of course available in Hull's Principles of Behavior ( 1943), Essentials of Behavior ( 1951), and A Behavior System ( 1952) as well as in Spence's Behavior Theory and Conditioning ( 1956) and Behavior Theory and Learning ( 1960). Theoretical formulations bearing strong family relationships to the Hull-Spence approach are to be found in numerous sources, most notably in the writings of Miller ( 1959), Mowrer ( 1960), and Logan ( 1960).
The strategy to be followed here will be based on the assumption that this book's typical reader is not highly conversant with behavior theory. Selected segments of Hullian theory will be discussed to provide a general familiarity with the system and to lay the groundwork for later consideration of the theory's implications with respect to the area of mental deficiency. In this development, only those concepts which in the writer's