This presentation of theoretical and empirical problems summarizes Kenneth Spence's extension of Clark L Hull's pioneering work in the area of the conditioned reflex. It gives a modern version of the stimulus-response theory of learning that developed out of Pavlov's studies and emphasizes some of the currently important methodological problems of psychology. Mr. Spence integrates empirical data from a number of simple conditioning situations and shows how theories developed on the basis of these experiments may be extended to more complex behavioral phenomena, such as selective and paired-associate learning.
"This is a major contribution, both to theory construction in psychology generally, and to learning theory specifically. It should help scientists from other fields to understand what psychologists arc trying to do, and it should help psychologists to move forward toward the solution of their problems." (Ernest R. Hilgard, Science)
"Dr. Spence has written a well organized and lucid analysis of certain major concepts of behavioral theory. Of particular interest to psychologists arc the number of new hypotheses, proposed or implied, that will provide fertile ground for experimentation." (Psychiatric Quarterly Supplement)