Mowrer and Klein have long been making contributions to the field of contemporary learning theories. Their first two-volume set included chapters authored by many of the leading researchers in the field of animal learning and focused primarily on Pavlovian theory and instrumental conditioning. These impartial texts were an important addition to the field and remain widely cited.
Over the last decade research on the nature of the learning process has evolved considerably. The research in this new volume represents the cutting-edge contributions of first rate authors and co-authors. These 14 chapters deal with the theoretical perspectives concerning the nature of the learning process, as well as the innovative research that supports these positions. This text is bound to be invaluable to both students and faculty of psychology and related disciplines, as well as to outside scholars.
Key features include:
* an introductory chapter describing general theories of learning and the causes of the shift to more specific, contemporary theories;
* five chapters detailing the research and theories of the nature of Pavlovian Conditioning;
* four chapters dealing with the current thinking and research on the nature of instrumental operant conditioning;
* three chapters describing the link between learning and physiology; and
* a concluding chapter detailing the application of learning theory to abnormal psychology.
"Mowrer and Klein's edited volume makes a heroic effort, probably as committed an effort as is possible in a single book, to place learning theory in a wider conceptual and applied context while still retaining the depth of understanding that a narrow focus can bring….A strength of the book is its depth of analysis of some of the pervasive assumptions made by learning theorists….A particularly salient feature of the Handbook…is the amount of space devoted to issues of motivation and reinforcement….The Handbook's two most praiseworthy attributes are its unstinting critical examination of current associative theory and its broad consideration of how learning theory is applicable in the understanding of behavior problems such as drug dependence and neurosis….as a scholarly and pleasurable means of surveying the current landscape of work on learning theory, this book comes with a strong recommendation."
Contents: Preface. R.R. Mowrer, S.B. Klein, The Transitive Nature of Contemporary Learning Theory. A.R. Wagner, S.E. Brandon, A Componential Theory of Pavlovian Conditioning. J.C. Denniston, H.I. Savastano, R.R. Miller, The Extended Comparator Hypothesis: Learning by Contiguity, Responding by Relative Strength. R.A. Rescorla, Experimental Extinction. W. Timberlake, Motivational Modes in Behavior Systems. R.M. Church, K. Kirkpatrick, Theories of Conditioning and Timing. A.G. Baker, R.A. Murphy, F. Vallée-Tourangeau, R. Mehta, Contingency Learning and Causal Reasoning. B.W. Balleine, Incentive Processes in Instrumental Conditioning. G. Hall, Perceptual Learning: Association and Differentiation. A. Tomie, Autoshaping and Drug-Taking. N. DeSousa, F. Vaccarino, Neurobiology of Reinforcement: Interaction Between Dopamine and Cholecystokinin Systems. V.M. LoLordo, T.L. Taylor, Effects of Uncontrollable Aversive Events: Some Unsolved Puzzles. A.L. Riley, G.R. Simpson, The Attenuating Effects of Drug Preexposure on Taste Aversion Conditioning: Generality, Experimental Parameters, Underlying Mechanisms, and Implications for Drug Use and Abuse. D.J. Levis, K.E. Brewer, The Neurotic Paradox: Attempts by Two-Factor Fear Theory and Alternative Avoidance Models to Resolve the Issues Associated With Sustained Avoidance Responding in Extinction.