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Paired Associates Learning, the Shortfalls of Behaviorism, and the Rise of Cognitivism


Author(s)

Elizabeth J. Meinz
Department of Psychology
Southern Illinois University Edwardsville
emeinz@siue.edu

Abstract

In this interrupted case study, students learn about a series of studies conducted in the late '50s/early '60s by Robert Young at the University of Texas at Austin. The studies, which explored the type of phenomena that behaviorism has had a difficult time explaining, were instrumental in the rise of cognitive psychology. A set of PowerPoint presentations (available for download in Supplementary Materials) are used to run an in-class demonstration as explained in the teaching notes. The case was written for use in a cognitive psychology course, but could also be used in other psychology courses such as Introductory Psychology, History and Systems of Psychology, or other courses in which the contrast between behaviorist and cognitive explanations of behavior are discussed.


Objectives

  • To better students' understanding of behavioral and cognitive psychology.
  • To demonstrate the use of experimental design to test the viability of theories (behavioral vs. cognitive).
  • To illustrate the type of research that led to major theoretical shifts in psychology.
  • To demonstrate experimental design in action.

Keywords

behaviorism; behaviorist; cognitive psychology; cognitivist; stimulus-response; paired associates learning; serial learning

Educational Level

Undergraduate lower division

Format

PDF, PowerPoint

Type Methods

Demonstration, Interrupted

Language

English

Subject Headings

Psychology  |  


Date Posted

12/20/2004

Teaching Notes

Case teaching notes are password-protected and access to them is limited to paid subscribed instructors. To become a paid subscriber, begin the process by registering.

Teaching notes are intended to help teachers select and adopt a case. They typically include a summary of the case, teaching objectives, information about the intended audience, details about how the case may be taught, and a list of references and resources.

Supplemental Materials

Full implementation of this case study involves an in-class demonstration using the PowerPoint presentations below.

 


  behaviorism_serial.ppt

  behaviorism_serial_ans.ppt

  behaviorism_paired_seq.ppt

  behaviorism_paired_seq_ans.ppt

  behaviorism_paired_nonseq.ppt

  behaviorism_paired_nonseq_ans.ppt

Answer Key

Answer keys for the cases in our collection are password-protected and access to them is limited to paid subscribed instructors. To become a paid subscriber, begin the process by registering.

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