Edward Tolman 's Theory Of Purposive Behaviorism And Cognitive Learning

876 Words Sep 11th, 2016 4 Pages
Edward Tolman- Behaviorist Views Edward Tolman (1886-1959) was a purposive behaviorist whose approach to modern psychology became extremely important to cognitive learning. Tolman, who studied molar behaviors, was of the opinion that individuals do more than respond to stimuli. This theory was due to the fact that individuals act upon changing conditions, attitudes, beliefs, and striving toward goals. Tolman is one of the few behaviorists that considered the stimulus-response theory to be insupportable because reinforcement is not needed in order to learn. This paper will provide insight into Tolman’s theory of purposive behaviorism and cognitive maps. The paper will also explore the following studies: Blocked-Path Study, A Place Learning Study, Expectation Study, and A Latent Learning Experiment. One of the most significant factors of purposive behaviorism is that studying of an animal’s behavior and not the mind are important. Purposive behaviorism believes in experimentation and observation as methods of learning and not introspection. Tolman’s work in purposive behaviorism has often been considered to be the bridge between cognitive theory and behaviorism. He believed that learning happens through meaningful behavior. His idea of behaviorism focused on the relationship between stimuli instead of stimulus-response. According to Tolman, when a stimulus is introduced to significant stimuli through a group of pairings, no reinforcement is needed for the learning process…

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