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Clark L. Hull on Learning Theory - Dictionary of Arguments

Corr I 358
Learning Theory/Hull: (Hullian Learning Theory, Hull 1952)(1): reduced all forms of motivationally-salient reinforcement to a single process of ‘drive-reduction’; as noted by Gray (1975(2), p. 25), the ‘Hullian concept of general drive, to the extent that it is viable, does not differ in any important respects from that of arousal’.
VsHull: at this time, there was a strong movement away from Hull’s grand theory of behaviour – which has now fallen by the wayside of science – towards a two factor theory of learning based upon reward and punishment systems. It was Mowrer’s (1960)(3) seminal work that contributed to this development: he argued that the effects of reward and punishment had different behavioural effects, as well as different underlying bases, and he specifically introduced the notion that central states of emotion (e.g., ‘hope’) mediate stimuli and responses. For a mediation to occur, there must be a mediating system. These general ideas entered mainstream psychology through the writings of such people as Konorski (1967)(4) and Mackintosh (1983(5)).



1. Hull, C. L. 1952. A behaviour system. New Haven: Yale University Press
2. Gray, J. A. 1975. Elements of a two-process theory of learning. London: Academic Press
3. Mowrer, H. O. 1960. Learning theory and behavior. New York: Wiley
4. Konorski, J. 1967. Integrative activity of the brain. Chicago University Press
5. Mackintosh, N. J. 1983. Conditioning and Associative Learning. Oxford: Clarendon Press



Philip J. Corr, „ The Reinforcement Sensitivity Theory of Personality“, in: Corr, Ph. J. & Matthews, G. (eds.) 2009. The Cambridge handbook of Personality Psychology. New York: Cambridge University Press


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Explanation of symbols: Roman numerals indicate the source, arabic numerals indicate the page number. The corresponding books are indicated on the right hand side. ((s)…): Comment by the sender of the contribution. Translations: Dictionary of Arguments
The note [Author1]Vs[Author2] or [Author]Vs[term] is an addition from the Dictionary of Arguments. If a German edition is specified, the page numbers refer to this edition.
Hull, Clark L.
Corr I
Philip J. Corr
Gerald Matthews
The Cambridge Handbook of Personality Psychology New York 2009

Corr II
Philip J. Corr (Ed.)
Personality and Individual Differences - Revisiting the classical studies Singapore, Washington DC, Melbourne 2018


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