An Introduction to Theories of Learning (7th Edition)

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9780131147225: An Introduction to Theories of Learning (7th Edition)

Clearly written and user-friendly, this comprehensive book defines learning and shows how the learning process is studied. It places learning in an historical perspective, and provides appreciation for the figures and theories that have shaped 100 years of learning theory research. It presents essential features of the major theories of learning in the words of the theorists, introducing readers to the pioneering work of E.L. Thorndike, Ivan Pavlov, B.F. Skinner, Clark Hull, Edwin Guthrie, William Estes, the Gestalt psychologists, Jean Piaget, E.C. Tolman, Albert Bandura, Donald Hebb, and Robert Bolles; and examines some of the relationships between learning theory and educational practices. An excellent reference work for those involved in education and learning.

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As in previous editions, the four main goals of this textbook are to define learning and to show how the learning process is studied (Chapters 1 and 2); to place learning theory in historical perspective (Chapter 3); and to present essential features of the major theories of learning with implications for educational practices (Chapters 4 through 15). We have attempted to retain the best features of earlier editions while making revisions that reflect current research and scholarship. The most significant revisions include the following:

  • An introduction to theory and applications in Behavioral Economics (Chapter 5)
  • New research in the Pavlovian tradition including learned irrelevance and superconditioning phenomena (Chapter 7)
  • Exciting developments in the neurosciences with implications for the "active brain" approach in Gestalt psychology (Chapter 10)
  • Albert Bandura's "Agentic Perspective" (Chapter 13)
  • Contemporary re-thinking about reinforcement centers in the brain and their possible roles in addiction (Chapter 14)
  • Exciting developments in neural plasticity (ability to form new connections and even generate new cells in adult brain) (Chapter 14)
  • Introduction to William Timberlake's "Biological Behaviorism" (Chapter 15)
  • New developments concerning prepared learning of phobias in humans (Chapter 15)
  • Updated research and references throughout
  • Chapter 16 (Implications for Education) was deleted and important educational implications were integrated within each theorist's chapter

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