出 版：Literary Licensing, LLC
Behavior Theory and Learning: Selected Papers
作 者：Kenneth Wartenbee Spence
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 appearance of this article Hull acknowledged that his theory was of this type and he explicitly employed intervening variables in his Principles of Behavior.
As far as the concept of intervening variables is concerned these three earlier articles were primarily expository in nature, attempting merely to present the views of Hull and Tolman as to the nature and function of this type of theoretical concept. The writer's own interpretation of the function that the intervening variables serve in present day psychology is presented in the two final papers of Part I, particularly in the third section of the last paper. Acknowledged as being primarily abstractive in nature, intervening variables--when used in conjunction with the laws interrelating them and the so-called composition rules (laws)--are nevertheless regarded as having "surplus meaning" in the sense that they permit the derivation of laws concerning phenomena quite different from those in which they originated. Abstracted from investigations of simple classical and instrumental conditioning, the intervening variables of behavior theory, in conjunction with composition laws, provide for derivations concerning more complex behavior, such as is involved in selective (discrimination) learning, paired associate learning, etc. The final article in Part I also presents the author's conception (methodological behaviorism) of the empirical basis of a scientific psychology and contrasts it with the diametrically opposed empathic approach of Allport.
Part II contains a heterogeneous collection of papers concerned both with the basic theoretical structure of learning phenomena developed by the author from simple conditioning studies and with extrapolations of this theory to more complex types of behavior such as are involved in simple T-maze, complex serial mazes, and paired associates learning in humans. The first previously unpublished paper (No. 6) contrasts the development of Hull's and the author's views on reinforcement and then extends the theoretical model presented in the writer's Silliman Lectures ( Behavior Theory and Conditioning) to some of the phenomena resulting from non-reinforcement and partial reinforcement. Several papers (Nos. 8-12) representative of the writer's theoretical and experimental studies of the role of drive (D) in determining performance level in simple (eyelid conditioning) and more complex learning tasks (paired associates) are also included.