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

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CHAPTER  7

Feed Forward Versus Feed Backward

The typical reader of this book is a human being who hopes to learn something by reading it. Human readers are seldom hungry or thirsty when they read and learn. Eating and drinking during reading is more likely to distract than to fix human attention on a book. The traditional experiment on rat or pigeon learning submits the learners to severe deprivation to make them hungry or thirsty and rewards their primary needs with food or water. Meanwhile, human beings learn a great deal every day without any deprivation of food or water or any other primary need and without immediate, or even prompt, primary reward. Indeed, human beings probably learn better when they are comfortable and well fed. Rats and ...

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