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AP® Psychology

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Thorndike's "Law of Effect"

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Edward Thorndike put cats in boxes that required them to find and push a lever to open the boxes ​to escape and eat tempting fish placed right outside the box. Thorndike's experiment led him to propose his "Law of Effect," which states that

A

if an animal's actions have no effect, it will give up.

B

reinforcement is more powerful than punishment.

C

only with time, not experience, does an animal have an "insight" to solve a difficult problem.

D

without a proper motivation, or cause, there will be no action, or effect.

E

​behaviors that have a good effect will be repeated and behaviors that have a bad effect will stop.