Thorndike Law of Effect (A Complete Guide)

Numerous psychological principles are being used today. In hospital settings, clinicians and other psychologists frequently use reinforcement to enhance positive practices and discourage unwanted behaviors.

In these cases, the utilization of positive results might be utilized to improve the probability of future positive practices.

We may discuss Thorndike laws of learning and will explain Thorndike law of effect in detail.

Edward Lee Thorndike (1874-1949) set forward the Theory of learning. He was an American Psychologist.

As indicated by Thorndike, all learning happens due to arrangement of bond or association among stimulus and reaction.

He further says that learning happens through a procedure of estimate and adjustment.

An individual makes various trials; a few reactions don’t provide the individual with positive reward, however he continues making further preliminaries until he gets positive consequences.

Thorndike performed a large number of experiments on animals especially cats to enlighten the process of learning and explain his laws of learning. 

Thorndike’s Experiment

Thorndike’s most popular work included cats attempting to explore through different puzzle boxes.

Thorndike would put cats inside the riddle box and afterward place a bit of meat fresh and then watch the cats’ activities to get away and get the reward.

He recorded to what extent every cat took to make sense of how to release itself from the box.

Eventually, the cats would press the switch, and the entryway would open so the cats could get the prize.

Despite the fact that first squeezing the switch happened essentially coincidentally, the cats turned out to probably repeat it since they had gotten a reward following playing out the activity. 

Thorndike found that with progressive trials, cats would learn from their past actions, limit inadequate behaviors, and get away from the box all the more rapidly.

He saw that the cats appeared to learn, from a complex experimentation process, which activities ought to be proceeded and which activities ought to be avoided.

A very much rehearsed cat could rapidly recall and reuse activities that were fruitful in getting away to the reward.

Thorndike Laws of Learning

E.L. Thorndike, one of the pioneers of Behavioral Sciences, figured three laws of learning in 1905.

These laws are all around acknowledged and apply to a wide range of learning: the law of exercise, the law of readiness and the law of effect.

  1. Law of Exercise

Associations are reinforced with exercise and undermined when practice is ceased.

The student needs to rehearse what has been learned so as to comprehend and recall the learning.

Exercise makes the learning association strong and discontinuous of exercise makes the learning weak. Exercise is generally significant and viable to learn any skill. 

  1. Law of Readiness 

Thorndike law of readiness states that to learn any task or skill the student or individual must be ready both physically and psychologically.

The fundamental needs of the learner must be fulfilled before the individual is prepared or fit for learning.

The teacher can do little to push the student if these requirements have not been met.

The individuals obtain new information when they see a clear purpose behind doing that and they regularly show more readiness for learning.

  1. Law of Effect

Thorndike law of effect proposed that reactions firmly followed by fulfillment will turn out to be associated with the circumstance and bound to reoccur when the circumstance occurs again.

On the other hand, if the circumstance is followed by uneasiness, the associations with the circumstance will get weaker, and the behavior of reaction is less inclined to happen when the circumstance is repeated.

Thorndike Law of Effect

The Thorndike law of effect distinctly affected the development of behaviorism, which proceeded to turn into the predominant way of thinking in psychology research for a great part of the twentieth century.

B.F. Skinner based his hypothesis of operant conditioning on Thorndike law of effect.

Skinner even built up his own form of a puzzle box which he alluded to as an operant conditioning chamber (otherwise called a Skinner box).

In operant conditioning, behaviors that are reinforced get strong, while those that are punished get weaker.

Thorndike acknowledged that stimulus and reactions are related, yet additionally that behavior can be altered by the consequences.

He utilized these discoveries to share his now well known theory of learning.

As per Thorndike law of effect, behaviors followed by outcomes that are pleasant or positive for the individual are bound to be occurring again and behaviors followed by negative results are less inclined to be recurring.

Basically, if an individual accomplishes something that results in an ideal outcome, the individual is bound to do it once more.

In the event that an individual accomplishes something that doesn’t result in an ideal outcome, the individual is more reluctant to repeat it again in future.

Thorndike law of effect indicates that the behaviors are altered by their outcomes, and this fundamental stimulus-reaction relationship can be learned by the operant individual or animal.

When the relationship among behaviors and outcomes is built up, the reaction is repeated.

Thorndike placed that learning is only a modification in behavior because of an outcome, and that if a behavior brought a positive reward, it is stepped into the mind and accessible for recall later.

While Thorndike law of effect doesn’t represent the whole of human behavior, it has been applied to almost every area of human life, yet especially in educational settings and psychological research.

Examples

  1. An example of Thorndike law of effect is frequently depicted in chronic drug abuse. At the point when individuals use drug and get a positive result, they are probably going to repeat the behavior because of the strengthening outcome. After some time, the individual’s sensory system will likewise build up a resistance to the medication. 
  2. You go to your work early one day unintentionally. Your manager observes and honors your constancy. The admiration causes you to feel great, so it strengthens the behavior. You begin appearing for work somewhat early every day to continue accepting your manager’s honors. Since a satisfying outcome followed the behavior, the behavior turned out to be bound to be rehashed later on.
  3. When you study hard and then get good passing marks on a test, you will be bound to read for the following test. 
  1. The Thorndike law of effect is also seen in educational settings as the teacher can improve his instructing strategies utilizing this law. He should watch the impacts of his teaching strategies on the students and ought not to spare a moment to roll out essential improvements in them, whenever required.
  2. If you try hard sincerely at your job and then get an advancement and salary increase, you will be bound to keep on investing more exertion at work. 
  3. If you go away at a red light and, at that point get a traffic ticket, you will be more reluctant to resist traffic lights later on.
  4. An actor works hard to perform in a show. When the audience praises his performance after the show, it makes the actor feel good and satisfied with his performance. This positive outcome strengthens his behavior of hard work and the actor is more likely to work hard next time to get praise and appreciation from the audience. 

In 1930 Thorndike law of effect was revised by Thorndike himself.

As indicated by this amendment, he expressed that positive outcome strengthens the behavior of individuals but negative outcome doesn’t always weaken the behavior.

At that point he put more emphasis on the pleasant part than on the unpleasant part of his law of effect.

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Conclusion

The Thorndike law of effect is most important among the three laws of learning.

Thorndike law of effect states that reactions firmly followed by positive reward will turn out to be associated with the circumstance and bound to reoccur when the circumstance occurs again.

On the other hand, if the circumstance is followed by uneasiness, the associations with the circumstance will get weaker, and the behavior of reaction is less inclined to happen when the circumstance is repeated.  

Behaviors promptly followed by positive results are bound to happen again. For example, being appreciated by a boss for appearing ahead of schedule for work made it more probable that the behavior would occur again.

Behaviors followed by negative results are more reluctant to happen again. For example you appear late for work and miss a significant meeting, you will most likely be reluctant to appear late again later on.

Since you see the missed gathering as a negative result, the behavior is more likely reluctant to be repeated.

FAQs about Thorndike law of effect?

What is the Thorndike law of effect?

The Thorndike law of effect implies that any behavior that is followed by positive results is probably going to be repeated and any behavior followed by negative outcomes is probably going to be kept away from.

What is the law of effect examples?

– When you study and after that get passing marks on a test, you will be bound to read for the following test.

– If you try hard sincerely at your job and then get an advancement and salary increase, you will be bound to keep on investing more exertion at work.

– If you go away at a red light and, at that point get a traffic ticket, you will be more reluctant to resist traffic lights later on.

Why is law of effect important?

Thorndike law of effect states that those behaviors that are most firmly followed by a positive outcome become strengthened and are most likely to happen again in reaction to that specific stimulus.

In these cases, the utilization of positive results might be utilized to improve the probability of future positive practices.

What are the three laws of learning?

Edward Thorndike built up the initial three laws of learning: exercise, readiness and effect.

The Law of exercise states that the practice makes the learning association strong and discontinuous of exercise makes the learning weak.

Exercise is generally significant and viable to learn any skill. The student needs to rehearse what has been learned so as to comprehend and recall the learning.

Thorndike law of readiness states that to learn any task or skill the student or individual must be ready both physically and psychologically.

The individuals obtain new information when they see a clear purpose behind doing that and they regularly show more readiness for learning.

Thorndike law of effect proposed that behaviors firmly followed by positive outcome will turn out to be associated with the circumstance and bound to reoccur when the circumstance occurs again.

On the other hand, if the circumstance is followed by uneasiness, the associations with the circumstance will get weaker, and the behavior of reaction is less inclined to happen when the circumstance is repeated.

References

https://psychology.jrank.org/pages/372/Law-Effect.html

https://www.verywellmind.com/what-is-the-law-of-effect-2795331

https://www.simplypsychology.org/edward-thorndike.html

https://oer2go.org/mods/en-boundless/www.boundless.com/psychology/textbooks/boundless-psychology-textbook/learning-7/operant-conditioning-47/basic-principles-of-operant-conditioning-thorndike-s-law-of-effect-196-12731/index.html

https://www.flightliteracy.com/thorndike-and-the-laws-of-learning/

https://scihi.org/edward-thorndike-law-effect/

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