Distributed Repetitions Principle Of See Josts Laws


DISUSE, LAW/THEORY OF. This law and theory is a generalization of conditioning formulated by the American psychologist Edward Lee Thorndike (1874-1949), and is derived from his law of exercise, which states that a learned stimulus-response bond or association will decrease and become weakened through disuse or through lack of practice. The law of disuse was invoked in early discussions in psychology of how forgetting occurs. That is, following the analogy that a muscle is weakened through disuse (and strengthened through exercise or use), lack of practice of learned materials may weaken the ability to recall those materials. However, the law of disuse is not widely held today because it is not supported by adequate data, and there are many common instances of its failure to predict the expected outcome (e.g., one may actually remember one's Spanish vocabulary and the names of high school classmates after 30 or 40 years, even if these materials have not been used during that time). See also EFFECT, LAW OF; EXERCISE, LAW OF; FORGETTING/MEMORY, THEORIES OF; USE, LAW OF. REFERENCE

Thorndike, E. L. (1898/1911). Animal intelligence. New York: Macmillan.



DODO HYPOTHESIS. In 1936, the American psychologist Saul Rosenzweig (19072004) proposed that common factors are operative in the efficacy of psychotherapy and used the conclusion expressed by the Dodo bird in Lewis Carroll's 1865 book Alice's Adventures in Wonderland to emphasize the point. Thus, the Dodo hypothesis alludes to the Dodo bird's words to racers in a foot-race that "everybody has won, and all must have prizes!" This proposition, by extension, states that all mental health therapies are roughly equal - as proposed by Lester B. Luborsky, Barton Singer, and Lise Luborsky in 1975 (cf., the demoralization hypothesis, which states that because all forms of psychotherapy are helpful, their shared features must counteract a type of distress and disability common to most seekers of psychotherapy). Luborsky and his colleagues conducted reviews of studies of the efficacy of various psychotherapies and concluded that the Dodo hypothesis is essentially correct: all of the contenders in the "psychotherapy race" are successful. There is a huge amount of evidence that psychotherapy works, they say, but there is no evidence across a broad range of samples that any one mode of psychotherapy, or "talk therapies," is superior to the others (cf., communion principle - the theory that the first requisite of suc cessful therapy is a sense of unity, trust, and mutuality between client/patient and therapist). Additionally, Luborsky and his group found support for an allegiance effect, which is the tendency of researchers to find evidence that favors the particular type of therapy that they themselves practice. However, another interpretation of the Dodo hypothesis is offered by the American psychiatrist E. Fuller Torrey (1992), who states that everyone has lost, and none must have prizes. Torrey criticizes psychoanalysis and all other "talk therapies" as pseudoscience and disputes the underlying assumption of such therapies that the human psyche is shaped by childhood experiences and can be reshaped through psychotherapy (cf., psychobabble - the use of excessive or superfluous psychological jargon, especially in connection with various forms of psychotherapy). Torrey asserts that drugs, gene therapy, and other biological remedies will make "talking cures" obsolete and, for now, psychotherapy should be excluded from health care coverage. According to Horgan (1996), bashing Freud and the "talk therapies" is not a novel pastime: the eminent Austrian-born English philosopher Karl Popper (19021994) recalled more than 60 years ago that "psychoanalysis is the treatment of the id by the odd." Thus, the debate continues concerning the efficacy of psychotherapy, in general, and Freudian psychoanalysis, in particular. See also FREUD'S THEORY OF PERSONALITY.

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