Thorndike's Theory of Education

Sam Bell, Ali Kara Ali, Michaela A.

Theory of Education: Law of Effect

Thorndike's Law of Effect states that a behavior shown before a satisfying state of affairs is more likely to be repeated and behavior shown before an annoying state of affairs is more likely to not be repeated. This is a behavioral theory. The first applied psychological principle in the area of teaching was this. The greatest contribution emphasizing the consequences of behavior as determiners of what is learned and what is not. He also used this to introduce animal studies for verifying predictions. He started work by collecting stories of animal behavior in natural and semi-natural settings. Using a "cat-box", Thorndike would study the behavior based on effect on given to the cats.In the classroom, teachers can give rewards to good behavior to reinforce the behavior. The theory was created in 1905 while working at Columbia.

Biography of Edward Thorndike

Born Aug. 31, 1874; Died Aug. 9. 1949

Born in Williamsburg, MA. Went to Wesleyan University, spent time at Harvard, received PhD at Columbia University. Became an instructor at Teacher's College at Columbia and spent that time doing his own research on learning and education.

Elected President of American Psychological Association (1912) and American Association for the Advancement of Science (1934). Admitted to National Academy of Sciences in 1917.