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Chance – Learning and Behavior 7th Edition

Chance – Learning and Behavior 7th Edition

Author: Paul Chance

Publisher: Wadsworth Publishing


Publish Date: February 26, 2013

ISBN-10: 1111832773

Pages: 464

File Type: PDF

Language: English

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Book Preface

A textbook is like a city: It is never finished. Go into any city and you see old buildings being torn down and new ones being built, trees being planted in vacant lots, jackhammers tearing up streets to install phone lines underground. The same is true of textbooks: Some topics are dropped, new ones added, chapters or sections moved from here to there. Here are some of the changes you’ll see in Learning and Behavior, 7th edition:

• Updated content. The reference list includes over 100 items dated 2011 or later.
• New topics, including evaluative conditioning, asocial observational learning, computer-based VRET, progressive schedules, and constraint- induced movement therapy, among others.
• More studies are cited to document findings, especially those that are counterintuitive or controversial, such as that learning sometimes occurs without awareness of the contingencies involved.
• New applications, including the use of Pavlovian and operant procedures for diagnosis, assessment, and treatment of medical disorders.
• The Miller–Dollard theory of observational learning has been replaced with a generic operant learning model.
• Increased emphasis on the role of context in forgetting, and the idea that forgetting may be largely a matter of stimulus control, a view taken by increasing numbers of psychologists.
• Footnotes are replaced by brief marginal notes that students are more likely to read.
• An increased emphasis in the recommended reading lists on items students are likely to read, such as Hal Markowitz’s Enriching Animal Lives, Susan Schneider’s The Science of Consequences, and articles in The New Yorker and other popular periodicals.
• An increase in the number and variety of illustrations, including photographs and sketches.
• Increased coverage of research by evolutionary biologists, primatologists, ethologists, rehabilitation psychologists, developmental psychologists, and cognitive psychologists.

• An increase in coverage of research done outside the United States.
• Researcher affiliations are sometimes provided, mostly involving recent studies, to convey to students that not all noteworthy learning research comes out of Ivy League schools.
• A brief section near the end of each chapter called “A Final Word.” My hope is that these will prompt the students to think about and discuss the implications of their reading.
• To make room for new material, I have deleted the workbook (students will find a study guide online); reduced chapter review questions from 20 to 10; shortened the discussion of memory; removed Edwin Twitmyer, the discussion of semantic conditioning, self-control, self- awareness, and mnemonic systems. Some of this material will be available on the book’s website.

Although cities are constantly being “revised,” some things remain the same for decades. The same is true of texts. The following key features of Learning and Behavior remain essentially unchanged:

• A readable style and a cordial tone that help make reading the text a welcome activity rather than a tedious chore, so that students get more out of their class sessions.
• Certain themes continue to run through the text: that learning is a biological mechanism (I call it evolved modifiability) by which individuals cope with change; that changes in behavior are the products of biological and environmental events; and that the natural science approach is the best way to study behavior.
• An abundance of examples and applications to help students “get” the principles, not merely memorize them.
• Though many of the experiments involve animal subjects, the emphasis is on what that research tells us about human behavior.

• Chapter 2 reviews the basic research methods used to study learning, including the single-subject designs that are unfamiliar to many students.

• Queries appear at irregular intervals to help keep students alert and help them monitor their progress.
• A practice quiz and review questions appear at the end of each chapter without answers. I believe the absence of answers prompts students to think about and discuss the questions and may result in interesting class discussions.
• Data graphs that represent findings in an easy-to-grasp form. I hope you will find that this is the best edition yet of Learning and Behavior, but I’m already making notes for the next edition. As I said, textbooks, like cities, are never really finished.

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