The Principles of Learning and Behavior 7th Edition
Originally, I had three basic goals in writing this book. First, I wanted to share with students the new ideas and findings that made me excited about conditioning and learning. Second, I wanted to emphasize that learning procedures do not operate in a vacuum but are built on behavior systems shaped by evolution. This belief provided the rationale for including behavior in the title of the book. Third, I wanted to provide an eclectic and balanced account of the field that was respectful of both the Pavlovian associationist tradition and the Skinnerian behavior-analytic tradition. I have remained faithful to these goals and sought to satisfy them in the seventh edition while being responsive to the ever-changing landscape of research on learning mechanisms.
Although the field of conditioning and learning dates back more than a century (during which some of our technical vocabulary has not changed much), the field continues to be enriched by numerous new phenomena and new interpretations. Recent national priorities for the pursuit of translational research have encouraged a great deal of new research on mechanisms of learning related to drug addiction, fear conditioning, and extinction. One of the interesting new developments is a greater respect for individual differences, which is now informing our understanding of some of the fundamental phenomena of Pavlovian conditioning, as well as punishment and choice behavior, among other topics. Incorporating new developments in the book required judgments about what was important enough to add and what material could be omitted to make room for the new information. Adding things is easy. Removing information that was previously deemed important is more painful but necessary to keep the book to a reasonable length. A continuing challenge for the book has been how to represent the major advances that are being made in studies of the neuroscience of learning and memory. Unfortunately,a single course cannot do justice to both the basic behavioral mechanisms of learning and the neural mechanisms of these behavioral phenomena. I remain committed to the proposition that one cannot study the neural mechanisms of a behavioral phenomenon without first understanding that phenomenon at the behavioral level of analysis. Therefore, the book continues to be primarily concerned with behavioral phenomena. However, the seventh edition includes more information about the neuroscience of learning and memory than any previous edition.
As in the sixth edition, most of the neuroscience information is presented in boxes that can be omitted by instructors and students who do not wish to cover this material. I am grateful to James W. Grau, Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience at Texas A&M University, for writing the “neuroboxes.” The seventh edition includes a neurobox in each chapter of the book. Furthermore, for the first time, Professor Grau organized these neuroboxes so that they tell a coherent and progressively unfolding story across the 12 chapters. For a bird’s-eye view, a list of the neuroboxes is presented in a separate section of the table of contents.
In addition to advances in the neurosciences, new research on many aspects of basic learning phenomena dictated numerous changes from the sixth to the seventh edition. The changes are too numerous to list. Among other things, they include new findings related to habit formation and automatic processing, epigenetic influences on behavior, pathological fear and post-traumatic stress disorder, individual differences in sign tracking and goal tracking, the relation of the Rescorla–Wagner model to error-correction mechanisms in robotics, new work on voucher-based programs for the treatment of substance abuse, new research on self-control, S–O and R–O associations in drug addiction, expanded and updated discussion of response allocation and behavioral economics, new research on stimulus equivalence, new work on ways to enhance extinction, new theory and research on avoidance, and extensive new sections on memory mechanisms and various special topics in comparative cognition (Chapters 11 and 12).
One of the major developments in the field during the past decade is that the basic behavioral principles that are described in this book are being utilized by an increasingly broad range of scientists. I first noticed this trend when I was preparing the sixth edition. The trend has continued since then, with the consequence that the new references that have been added in the seventh edition were culled from about 85 different journals. New information on basic learning processes continues to be published in traditional psychology journals (such as the Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior and the Journal of Experimental Psychology: Animal Behavior Processes). However, important new findings are also being published in journals dealing with behavior therapy, brain research and neuroscience, biological psychiatry, child development, drug and alcohol dependence, language and cognition, family violence, neuropsychology, pharmacology and therapeutics, and psychosomatic medicine.
The broadening range of disciplines that are finding basic behavioral principles to be relevant has also been evident in the range of students who have been signing up for my learning classes. During the past two years, my graduate course on learning has attracted students from integrative biology, communications, information science, marketing, music, special education, and neuroscience, in addition to psychology. Identifying relevant sources that appear in a diverse range of journals is made possible by the search engines of the new information age. Early editions of the book provided extensive citations of research on various topics in conditioning and learning. Considering how easy it is to find sources using ever-improving search engines, the citations in the seventh edition are not as extensive and are intended to introduce students to new lines of research rather than provide a complete list of the relevant research.
I apologize to investigators whose names may have been omitted because of this altered citation strategy.
I would like to thank the support of numerous instructors and students around the world who continue to look to this book for authoritative coverage of basic learning mechanisms. Without their support, successive editions (and translations) of the book would not be possible. Successive editions of the book also would not have been possible without the support of the good folks at Cengage Learning, especially Jon-David Hague, the product director of psychology. I am also grateful to Wendy Langerud (in Iowa) and Gunjan Chandola (in India) for all of their help in shepherding the seventh edition through the complexities of the production process. Finally, I would like to thank Professor Kevin Holloway of Vassar College for agreeing to prepare the Instructor’s Manual and Test Bank for the book.
CHAPTER 1 Background and Rationale for the Study of
Learning and Behavior 1
CHAPTER 2 Elicited Behavior, Habituation, and
CHAPTER 3 Classical Conditioning: Foundations 59
CHAPTER 4 Classical Conditioning: Mechanisms 87
CHAPTER 5 Instrumental Conditioning: Foundations 121
CHAPTER 6 Schedules of Reinforcement and Choice
CHAPTER 7 Instrumental Conditioning: Motivational
CHAPTER 8 Stimulus Control of Behavior 211
CHAPTER 9 Extinction of Conditioned Behavior 245
CHAPTER 10 Aversive Control: Avoidance and Punishment 273
CHAPTER 11 Comparative Cognition I: Memory Mechanisms 307
CHAPTER 12 Comparative Cognition II: Special Topics 343
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