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Learning Theory and the Evolutionary Analogy

By Marion Blute

Abstract

In this article, past comparisons of learning and evolution as analogous processes are discussed and some inaccuracies and omissions in those discussions are pointed out. The evolutionary analogy is examined for its ability to suggest solutions to five fundamental theoretical issues about learning - superstitions, why a reinforcer has the effect it does, the relationship among various procedures yielding learning, the relevance of the matching law to the problem of what reinforces an avoidance response, and whether behavioral and cognitive views of learning can be reconciled. In each case it is argued that the analogy is instructive

Topics: Behavioral Analysis, Evolution, Neuropsychology, Epistemology
Year: 1979
OAI identifier: oai:cogprints.org:858
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