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Edward Tolman

By | July 2013
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Cognitive Theorist- Edward C. Tolman
Psychology 390
June 13, 2013

Cognitive Theorist- Edward C. Tolman

Edward C. Tolman’s contributions to the research of learning and motivation were substantial to the field of psychology. Regard as a cognitive behaviorist, he acquired his specific behaviorism when the likes of Watson were governing the field (Kimble, 1991).

Through many of Tolman’s contributions to psychology, his trademark to the field of psychology took place at Berkeley this is where his cognitive learning theory was shaped. Tolman considered learning is encouraged from fragments of cognitions about the environment and the relationship with organisms. This theory was in distinction to the theories of Hull and Thorndike who supposed of learning as a strict stimulus-response connection. (Kimble, 1991). 

To analyze learning, Tolman performed orthodox rat experiments; involving maze running. During his observation expressed reinforcement plays a contributor in the method of how the rats gain knowledge and technique through the difficult mazes. Tolman’s research with the rats ultimately began the theory of latent learning; expressed learning that transpires in the lack of an apparent reward (Barker, 1997). There was controversy from Edward Tolman’s latent learning theory, thus several researchers established that rats do learn in the absence of rewards (Hothersall, 1995).

Edward C. Tolman characterized his method of psychology purposive behaviorism; describing his essential conception on organisms generates behavior for acclimatized principle. Tolman began his career as a behaviorist but gained concentration in Gestalt theories from Kurt Lewin, and modified some Gestalt concepts into his research (Kimble, 1991). Tolman was not fond of the methods of Watson’s behaviorism for the reason that he detested "mechanistic behaviorism's reductionist perceptions. He supposed individuals perform on changing conditions, attitudes, and beliefs. Edward Tolman...
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