Are theories of learning necessary?

  title={Are theories of learning necessary?},
  author={Burrhus F. Skinner},
  journal={Psychological review},
  volume={57 4},
  • B. Skinner
  • Published 24 October 2013
  • Psychology
  • Psychological review
Certain basic assumptions, essential to any scientific activity, are sometimes called theories. That nature is orderly rather than capricious is an example. Certain statements are also theories simply to the extent that they are not yet facts. A scientist may guess at the result of an experiment before the experiment is carried out. The prediction and the later statement of result may be composed of the same terms in the same syntactic arrangement, the difference being in the degree of… 

Figures from this paper

Varieties of scientific explanation
  • J. Moore
  • Psychology
    The Behavior analyst
  • 2000
Strictly speaking, neither form of explanation is consistent with behavior-analytic explanations derived from Skinner’s radical behaviorism, which emphasize the pragmatic sources and contributions of the verbal behavior regarded as explanatory.
Pick up almost any book on language and immediately you are confronted with the term “competence” followed by the injunction: You will make no progress in the study of language without taking
Finding the philosophical core: A review of Stephen C. Pepper's World Hypotheses: A Study in Evidence.
To answer questions about the philosophy underlying behavior analysis compared to those of other perspectives, it is necessary to be clear about the assumptions and postulates of the position that are not deliberately and unambiguously laid down.
Language Development and Epistemic Behavior.
The most basic motive of human behavior appears to be the need to know, which is scientifically know as epistemic behavior. Without adequate language skills, the individual has a limited ability to
Nothing Can “Be” Other Than Through Its Relation
The history of psychology is replete with “discoveries” or fictional formulations of causality based on supposedly real structures or decisively imagined structures which, in theory, would explain
A Behavioral Interpretation of Memory
The goal of this paper is to provide a behavioral interpretation of those phenomena for which the term memory is commonly invoked, and to show that the phenomena currently studied in academic programs in the "field of memory" are not theoretically coherent from a behavioral perspective.
What’s in a name? Is the science of learning identical to behavior analysis?
ABSTRACT It is the contention of this paper that the study of learning should be called the science of learning and variation. It is further contended that this science overlaps with behavior
Transcending inductive category formation in learning
Abstract The inductive category formation framework, an influential set of theories of learning in psychology and artificial intelligence, is deeply flawed. In this framework a set of necessary and


The Behavior of Organisms
The behavior of organisms Appleton-Century Co., 1938. 3. . The nature of the operant reserve Differential reinforcement with respect to time
  • Psychol. Butt. Amer. Psychol
  • 1940
MS. received December
  • MS. received December
  • 1949
The effect of the difficulty of a response upon its rate of emission
  • Amer. Psychol
  • 1946
The nature of the operant reserve
  • The behavior of organisms
  • 1938