Essay The Laws of Voluntary Response: Edward Thonrdike

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From the textbook, “Third Edition Psychology from Saundra K. Ciccarelli and J. Noland White, it is stated that Thorndike was one of the first researchers to explore and attempt to outline the laws of learning voluntary response, although the field was not yet called operant conditioning. He tested laws by using a hungry cat for an experiment. He placed this cat in a “puzzle box” where the only escape was the lever that was also within the box. Thorndike also placed food outside the box as motivation for the cat to escape the box. He observed how the cat explored around the box, pushing and rubbing up against the walls in an effort to escape. The cat eventually pushed the lever on accident, opening the exit to the box. The cat however, …show more content…
However, in 1899, he became an instructor in psychology at Teachers College at Columbia University, where he stayed for the rest of his career. For the rest of his career, he studied human learning, education, and mental testing. His pioneer investigation in human and animal learning became the most influential in the history of Psychology. He was recognized for his accomplishments and became elected as president of the American Psychological Associations. He retired in 1939, but continued his work until his death a decade later. More of his personal life was found in a in a webpage called “http://faculty.frostburg.edu/mbradley/psyography/thorndike.html”. Edward Thorndike was born on August 31, 1874 in Williamsburg, Massachusetts. He was the second son of a local Methodist minister, Edward Roberts Thorndike, and a homemaker, Abbie Thorndike. According to the census, his father was born in 1841 and died in 1920, living for approximately 79 years. Edward L. Thorndike married a woman named Elizabeth Moulton on August 29th, 1900. His wife conceived a total of 5 children. Only one of his sons, named R.L. Thorndike, followed his father’s foot-steps by exploring the field of Educational Psychology and specializing in psychometric. Additional information is found about his education, consisting of his affairs with Columbia Uni-versity. Instead of graduating from Harvard University, he transferred to Columbia University to pioneer his studies of

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