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Prompt: Tolman and The Use of Laboratory Rats


Prompt: Tolman and The Use of Laboratory Rats.

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1.  Prompt Assignment:  Please read the selection below and complete  the "PROMPT" Assignment with  complete sentences.   Failure to follow directions will result in forfeiture of points.

PROMPT:  Tolman claimed that everything important in psychology could be studied using laboratory rats.  Do you agree or disagree? Justify your response (5 or more sentences).  See pg. 289-290

Explain what Tolman meant by his statement below using 5 or more complete sentences., "The Use of Rats".

2. ** Each student must reply to at least two (2) classmates’ post using a minimum of five (5) complete sentences...worth 10 points.  **You must post your assignment before you can reply to 2 of your classmates.**  


The Use of Rats  (See p. 289-290)

Some may think it strange for a cognitive theorist to use rats as experimental subjects, but Tolman had a special fondness for them. He stimulated the use of rats in psychological experiments at the University of California, and he dedicated his 1932 book to the white rat. Throughout Tolman’s writings, one finds humor and wit, as exemplified by his following thoughts on the use of rats as experimental subjects:

Let it be noted that rats live in cages; they do not go on binges the night before one has planned an experiment; they do not kill each other off in wars; they do not invent engines of destruction, and if they did, they would not be so inept about controlling such engines; they do not go in for either class conflicts or race conflicts; they avoid politics, economics, and papers on psychology. They are marvelous, pure, and delightful. (1945, p. 166). I believe that everything important in psychology (except perhaps such matters as the building up of a super-ego, that is, everything save such matters as involve society and words) can be investigated in essence through the continued experimental and theoretical analysis of the determiners of rat behavior at a choice-point in a maze.  Herein I believe I agree with Professor Hull and also with Professor Thorndike. (p. 34).

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