Wednesday, July 22, 2009

The three laws of Thorndike

Thorndike's theory generally consists of three primary laws:
(1) Law of effect - responses to a situation which are followed by a rewarding state of affairs will be strengthened and become habitual responses to that situation,
(2) Law of readiness - a series of responses can be chained together to satisfy some goal which will result in annoyance if blocked, and
(3) Law of exercise - connections become strengthened with practice and weakened when practice is discontinued.

A corollary of the law of effect was that responses that reduce the likelihood of achieving a rewarding state (i.e., punishments, failures) will decrease in strength.


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