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CONDITIONING AND DISCRIMINATION. THE ALL-OR-NONE PROCESSES IN PAIRED-ASSOCIATE LEARNING
INDIANA UNIV BLOOMINGTON
An analysis is made to show that learning a nonsense-syllable may not be an elementary process, but may involve several stages. The stages are identified, and data are shown to agree with the multi-stage theory. The result is two-fold. One has a better idea of how to produce a truly all-or-nothing learning process, and a more complex analysis of the processes in actual learning experiments can be made. By eliminating almost all stimulus generalization, and by choosing discrete responses, it may be possible to obtain a pure case of conditioning. By eliminating the need for any conditioning, pure cases of discrimination learning can be isolated. If such analyses can be completed successively, it is possible to build problems which are known to consist of several stages. The theory, which makes possible an analysis of extremely complicated data, is intended to be a step toward a mathematical theory of learning which can actually be applied to school learning and other educational problems of general and practical interest. Author