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Learning Theory and the Symbolic Processes.

Ralph Rothstein, Ph.D.
Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1961;4(4):429-430. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1961.01710100109018.
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Mowrer is a leading figure in the area of learning, noted for his imaginative approach to research, as well as a certain daring for venturing out of the relatively safe confines of the Skinner box and tackling some of the more vexing and elusive phenomena of personality and psychopathology. In this book he is again concerned with complex behavior and attempts to conceptualize cognitive and symbolic processes, within the framework of his most recent theory of learning (made explicit and fully elaborated in the companion volume, Learning Theory and Behavior). Since the phenomena dealt with in this book are analyzed with an "eye" to the theory, it may be well to pause and examine Mowrer's position in some detail. The author, who for many years has advanced a two-factor theory of learning, now advocates a monistic approach: All learning is basically sign learning and involves the conditioning of emotional


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