chapter  6
22 Pages

Commentary

As I listened to the various papers and thought back over 20 years, I concluded that we have come a long way. I well remember the then dominant position of Behaviorism and its implications for what we studied and how we studied it. As a metaphysical doctrine, Behaviorism ruled out the study of nonvisible matters such as mentation; prescribed a set of experimental procedures; held that we could study the laws of association and end up with an account of behavior; and assumed that the laws of behavior would be free of age and species constraints. There were debates as to whether all learning was based on the classical conditioning of new stimuli to available reflexes on whether there weren't two learning paradigm~lassical and instrumental learning. There were debates as to whether learning could take place without reinforcement and or the organism responding to stimuli (see Schwartz, 1978, for an excellent review). Despite the differences, there was nevertheless considerable agreement on the fundamentals: If we studied the laws of associative learning, we would come to know how organisms represented and acted on their environment--<:hildren included.