9) Miller and Hart: Motivation and Reward in Learning

With this segment, we move to another decade of experiments, the 1940s. A large amount of progress in the field came from this era too, as we’ll be seeing with Clark’s Doll Test (segment 17) and Kurt Lewin’s classical Leadership types Study (segment 18).

Keenly observing Skinner’s experiments in operant conditioning, Neal E. Miller, with Gardner Hart, set out to understand the motivations of animals to react in the way they did.

The following footage demonstrates the importance of motivation and reward in the learning process, highlighting the difference in the activity of a hungry rat, vs. one that isn’t hungry, in the presence of both reinforcements and punishments:

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