Learning & Teaching Foreign Languages

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Puzzle box

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Watch the video on the puzzle box experiments developed by Edward Thorndike to investigate the learning of new skills.


1. Why did Thorndike refuse to believe the cat used instinct to escape?

2. What did Thorndike consider to be the role of trial and error, practice, and reward?

3. Which law explains the development of new habits even among wild animals?

ANSWERS

1. Why did Thorndike refuse to believe the cat used instinct to escape?
He saw no evidence of flashes of understanding, and the learning curves which he plotted of their escape times showed only gradual change, no sharp drop indicating sudden understanding

2. What did Thorndike consider to be the role of trial and error, practice, and reward?
The animal learned by trial and error, improving with practice. Rewards 'stamp in' behavior.

3. Which law explains the development of new habits even among wild animals?
The law of effect.

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