chapter  5
36 Pages

Habit Activation in Human Learning

WithMelvin H. Marx

In this chapter I attempt to deal with the general issue of cognitive-behavioral interaction by focusing on the theoretical explanation of human selective learning. The role of cognition has of course been accorded recognition at a rapidly increasing pace over the past few years, as is demonstrated by the following pages and the other chapters in this volume. Nevertheless, purely cognitive explanations of learning, even human learning, do not seem to be sufficient. It is the present contention that they generally need a fuller account of the role of motivation. Most of the recent cognitive interpretations of human learning either gloss over the problem by giving what amounts to a kind of lip service to motivation or ignore the problem entirely by simply assuming that the human learner is adequately and appropriately motivated. The present treatment attempts to fill that gap by reconceptualizing the role of motivational factors in instrumental learning and memory.