7) Edward Thorndike: Puzzle Box

A worthwhile mention, before we proceed onto the other implications of both classical and operant conditioning studies, is Thorndike’s work with cats, which eventually led to his Law of Effect, which suggests that responses that produce a satisfying effect in a particular situation become more likely to occur again in that situation, and responses that produce a discomforting effect become less likely to occur again in that situation. Thorndike is credited with inventing puzzle boxes, to study what would later be named, operant conditioning.

The following clip is a re-enactment, using Thorndike’s classic puzzle boxes to see the problem-solving a cat carries out, before being reinforced with a treat after escaping the puzzle box:


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