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Dollard and Miller Stimulus Response Theory
Gonzales, Mona Lynn

I. Biography

A. John Dollard

1. Life

* Born in Wisconsin in 1900.
* His Mother was a school teacher.
* His father was a railroad engineer
* His father died in a train wreck when Dollard was still a small child. * Despite growing up without a father, Dollard did well in school. * He did his undergraduate work at the University of Chicago, where he was awarded a doctorate in 1931. * He also studied psychoanalysis at the Berlin Institute. * Dollard taught anthropology at Yale University for a year, and then joined the new Institute of Human Relations, which was interdisciplinary in focus. * Besides anthropology, he also taught psychology and sociology and for many years was a research associate. * Retired from Yale in 1969 for being a professor emeritus. * Died in 1980.

2. Works

* Dollard researched the sociological issues of race relations and social class. * He also explored biographical analyses, suggesting what should be included in biographical materials to permit sound psychological studies. * Researched various topics related to sociology and culture, as well as psychoanalysis. * He stated that, “Sociological variables, such as social class, influence a person’s particular learning experiences.”

B. Neal E. Miller

1. Life

* Born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin on August 3, 1909.
* An American psychologist.
* His first wife is Marion E. Edwards whom he married and had 2 children York and Sara in 1948 and who died in 1997. * Survived by his second wife, Jean Shepler with their 2 children. * He received a B.S. degree from the University of Washington in 1931. * An M.A. from Stanford University (1932).

* A Ph. D. degree in psychology from Yale University (1935), 30 years in faculty. * At Yale, he studied learning theory from Clark Hull, whose concepts of drive reduction influenced his later theorizing. * His family moved to Bellingham, Washington so his father, an educational psychologist could teach at Western Washington State College.

2. Works

* Joined the faculty at the Institute of Human Relations in Yale University (1936-1941) where he collaborated with Dollard and others on the books Frustration and aggression (1939) and Social Learning and Imitation (1941). These works explored a learning theory reconceptualization of psychoanalytic insights. * In 1950, D&M jointly published a more mature and comprehensive version of their theoretical work: Personality and Psychotherapy: An Analysis in Terms of Learning, Thinking, and Culture. In addition, they explored anxiety among soldiers in WWII. * In 1966, Miller founded the Laboratory of Physiological Psychology at Rockefeller University in New York, where he conducted basic research on animals. He encouraged psychologists to communicate with neuroscientists, since physical processes in the brain influence human problems (Miller, 1995). * He performed extensive basic research on physiological mechanisms of motivation using rats and other animals. * In 1969, he began applying the work to humans. This work contributed to the development of biofeedback b showing that autonomic nervous system functions such as heart rate, gastric vascular responses and blood pressure could be influenced by operant learning. This concept contradicted the prevailing assumption that the autonomic nervous system involved only classical (not operant) conditioning. * Although later research by Miller and others was not able to reproduce these effects reliably, biofeedback remains an accepted and effective treatment technique, and Miller continued his research on the learning of autonomic nervous system responses.

3. Publications

* Pedagogical Seminary and Journal of Genetic Psychology, 1934. * Frustration and Aggression (with John Dollard, Leonard William Doob, Orval Hobart Mowrer...
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