Kenneth Wartinbee Spence

May 6th

Born 6 May 1907; died 12 Jan 1967 at age 59.
U.S. psychologist who attempted to construct a comprehensive theory of behaviour to encompass conditioning and other simple forms of learning and behaviour modification. He is known for both theoretical and experimental research on learning. Spence was particularly interested in learning and conditioning. He extended the research and theories of Hull, in an attempt to establish a precise, mathematical formulation to describe the acquisition of learned behavior. He tried to measure simple learned behaviors such as salivating in anticipation of eating. Much of his research focused on classically conditioned, easily measured, eye-blinking behavior in relation to anxiety and other factors.

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