Edward C. Tolman Impacted The Field Of Cognitive Psychology Essay

1094 Words Sep 6th, 2015 5 Pages
Edward C. Tolman impacted the field of cognitive psychology by presenting a theory of the cognitive map. The cognitive map is an organism’s mental picture of a specific area. Therefore, the cognitive map aids the memorization of one’s environment. The cognitive map can be broken down into how a person’s spatial memory is used to record the location of their surroundings. Hence, a cognitive map is not a physical place, but rather how an organism perceives their environment.
He discovered a way to intertwine the observation of a behavior with setting a definitive objective. He referred to his discovery as a purposive behaviorism. His research included many different types of principles and applications. They are: Expectation, A Block-Path, and A Place in Learning Studies, and the Latent Learning Experiment. His principles which he explored were that learning was always centered on purpose and goal driven. His application was simple, list the desired goal clearly and specifically. He then was able to proclaim an organism has learned a new behavior based on witnessing a modification in their existing behavior. Thus, Tolman believed an association could be made between information gained from the surroundings and that of the organism’s environment. In effort to explore his theory of purposive behavior; he used an experiment with rats to test his theory.
Tolman’s experiment with the cognitive map used rodents. During his research which led him to formulate the idea of learning…

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