Maps in Your Mind

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Topics: Psychology
Title of the article: Maps in Your Mind
Edward C. Tolman
Reasons for Tolman to carry out the study were to demonstrate that complex internal cognitive activity could be studied in rats, not only in humans, and that these mental processes could be studied without the necessity of observing them directly.
The theoretical propositions which this research is based on were two 2 modifications to the prevailing view that Tolman proposed. One was that the true nature and complexity of learning could not be fully understood without an examination of the internal mental processes that accompany the observable stimuli and responses. The second was that even though internal cognitive processes could not be directly observed, they could be objectively and scientifically inferred from observable behavior.
The method Tolman used were two studies which clearly demonstra6ted his theoretical propositions. The first was called “The Latent Learning” experiment, where rats were divided into 3 groups. The first of the 3 groups was Group C, control group, which was exposed to a complex maze using the standard procedure of one run through the maze each day with a food reward at the end of the maze. Second was Group N, received no reward, which was exposed to the maze for the same amount of time each day but found no food and received no reward for any behavior in the maze. Last was Group D, received a delayed reward, which was treated exactly like group N for the first 10 days of the study, but then on day 11 and the remainder of the experiment found food at the end of the maze.
The results to the first study were that the rats in groups N and D did not learn much of anything about the maze when they were not receiving any reward for running through the maze. Group C rats learned the maze to near-perfection in about two weeks. But rats in Group D had found out a reason to run the maze and that was food. They had learned the maze in about 3 days (day 11 to day 13). The only possible

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