Edward Thorndike Quotes

A collection of quotes by Edward Thorndike.

Edward Thorndike (1874-1949) was an influential American psychologist who made significant contributions to the field of learning theory and educational psychology. He is considered one of the pioneers of behaviorism, a school of psychology that emphasizes the study of observable behaviors and their relationship to the environment.

Born in Williamsburg, Massachusetts, Thorndike completed his undergraduate studies at Wesleyan University and went on to pursue a Ph.D. in psychology from Harvard University. His early research focused on the study of animal behavior and led to the development of his famous puzzle box, a tool used to investigate the process of learning through trial and error.

Thorndike's most noteworthy concept was the "law of effect," proposed in his book "The Principles of Learning." This principle stated that behaviors followed by satisfying consequences are more likely to be repeated, while behaviors followed by negative consequences are more likely to be extinguished. This idea laid the foundation for the field of operant conditioning, which later became central to the work of psychologists such as B.F. Skinner.

Throughout his career, Thorndike also contributed to the fields of intelligence testing and educational psychology. He developed numerous standardized tests to measure various cognitive abilities and conducted research on the effectiveness of instructional methods. His theories and findings greatly influenced pedagogical practices and formed the basis for the development of modern educational psychology.

Edward Thorndike's impact on the field of psychology was extensive and lasting. His research on learning and behavior provided a solid framework for understanding human and animal behavior, and his contributions to educational psychology continue to shape teaching methods and curriculum design.