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The Structure of Learning by Beatrix Gardner, R. Allen Gardner

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CHAPTER  5

Reinforcement Versus Expectancy

Possibly the longest running dispute in the psychology of learning concerns two principles: response contingent reinforcement and cognitive expectancy. Do rewards and punishments automatically stamp in the association between stimuli and responses? Or, is much if not all of learning a matter of building up cognitive expectancies about future events? During the middle of this century, this dispute flared up to the point where almost all experimenters seemed to be involved in one way or another. For about 30 years laboratories seethed with activity and the quality of research and argument yielded a rich harvest of solid findings. This chapter considers the theoretical roots of the dispute and some of the ...

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