Motivation and reward in learning

Motivation and reward in learning: Yale 1948

Uses white rats to picture trial-and-error problem solving and to demonstrate the importance of motivation and reward in the learning process.

Video, stream or download. Creative Commons licence. Runtime 13:39

Don’t tell me they were cruel to rats, ask why they carried out these experiments.
What theory or belief motivated researchers to subject rats to electric shocks? What did they think they had proved? What conclusions, if any, can be drawn from this experiment concerning:
a. learning in rats
b. learning in humans
c. motivation and reward in psychological research.
Do some searches on BF Skinner and behaviourism. Look out for Chomsky’s critique. Note that most behaviourist practice is concerned with positive reinforcement.

behaviorism |biˈhāvyəˌrizəm| ( Brit. behaviourism)
noun Psychology
the theory that human and animal behavior can be explained in terms of conditioning, without appeal to thoughts or feelings, and that psychological disorders are best treated by altering behavior patterns.
• such study and treatment in practice.

New Oxford American Dictionary

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