Excitation Transfer Theory

EMOTIONS, THEORIES/LAWS OF.

EXCLUDED MIDDLE/THIRD, LAW/ PRINCIPLE OF. In the context of formal logic, the principle of excluded middle (or third) formulates one aspect of the simple and universal condition of knowledge: every judgment must be either true or false. That is, between the assertions that express the truth and the falsity of any significant judgment, there is no medium- or middle-ground; one or the other must be true. J. M. Baldwin suggests that in order to avoid confusion regarding the scope and nature of the principle of excluded middle/third, one must take care to insure that the assertions do no more than express the truth or falsity of some relations represented in thought - a requirement not easily met if there is any ambiguity in the subject of the particular assertions that are in question or under analysis. See also EXCLUSION, LAW OF; KOLMOGOROV'S AXIOMS/THEORY; THOUGHT, LAWS OF. REFERENCE

Baldwin, J. M. (Ed.) (1901-1905). Dictionary of philosophy and psychology. New York: Macmillan.

EXCLUSION, LAW OF. In the context of experiments on phenomena such as recognition and tonal memory, the law of exclusion was used to explain how a perceiver's judgment concerning comparison stimuli occurs. The German psychologist Oswald Kulpe (1862-1915) - who is the author of the first experimental psychology textbook (1895) in the world, and who, in opposing the "structuralist" theories of Wilhelm Wundt, founded the Wurzburg "imageless thought" school -asserted that in a stimulus comparison situation, there is no mediation of a comparison by a memory image, but the judgment is passed immediately after the perception of the second stimulus just as occurs in direct recognition. Also, Kulpe maintained that such judgments of stimuli are passed independently of any centrally excited sensations. Thus, through a law of exclusion of intermediate terms (which plays a large part in the determination of idea-tional connection in general), direct comparison and direct recognition involve a transformation process where the direct form is a derivative of the indirect. The law of exclusion (a sort of "short-cut" through experience) may be formulated as follows: When a simultaneous or successive connection of three contents, A, B, and C, has established a "liability" of reproduction between A and C, C gradually comes to be excited directly by A, without the intermediation of B. See also EXCLUDED MIDDLE/THIRD, LAW OR PRINCIPLE OF; PSYCHOPHYSICAL LAWS/THEORY; THOUGHT, LAWS OF. REFERENCE

Kulpe, O. (1895). Outlines of psychology. London: Sonnenschein.

EXCLUSION, METHOD OF. This method of investigation is a portion of the English philosopher Francis Bacon's (1561-1626) general view of induction (i.e., the formulation of general rules or explanations) that consists of elimination by comparison of cases, particularly negative cases, all that is nones-sential (the "residue"). Bacon's radical empiricist method of exclusion for discovering forms of nature was to prepare exhaustive and comparative listings of apparently unrelated concrete instances and, by stripping away all nonessential characteristics, to arrive at the one common underlying cause or form of the phenomenon under study. See BACONIAN METHOD; PARSIMONY, LAW OR PRINCIPLE OF. REFERENCE

Bacon, F. (1620/1960). Novuum organum. In F. Anderson (Ed.), The new organon and related writings. New York: Liberal Arts Press.

EXEMPLAR THEORY OF BEHAVIOR CHOICE. = exemplar choice theory of behavior = exemplar choice theory. This particular version of choice theory, called exemplar choice theory (ECT), applied to human social behavior, posits that the person/actor (when he or she chooses what to do in a given situation) relies on stored memory representations of past instances or examples of actions observed previously (cf., general exemplar theory -holds that particular desirable characteristics or traits may be personified by certain individuals; e.g., the patience/faithfulness of Job in the scriptures). ECT attempts to achieve a theoretical integration in various areas in psychology including motor learning, perception, categorization- and concept-learning, priming phenomena, and social judgment. ECT is a "social" theory, in the broad sense that the observed actions may have been performed by persons other than the observer (i.e., the observed actions are sources of "social influence") and, in a particular sense, ECT may be viewed as a theory of "imitation" (i.e., the manifest symptom of "social influence" may be that the actor chooses to do the same thing as the observed fellow actor). Just as some of the early "imitation" theories of psychologists and sociologists (such as William McDougall and C. L. Morgan) held "imitativeness" to be an innate/instinctive tendency, ECT proposes the existence of an innate "imitative" motivational mechanism. The basic claim of the new ECT is that human beings are "intelligent imitators;" that is, they try to behave the way a prototypical (or "average") individual/actor would have done in the same situation. ECT may be viewed, also, as an updated, and more general, version of the old doctrine of "ideo-motor action" (i.e., an overt act initiated by an idea in early ideomotor theory) such as that described by William James in the late 1800s. Specifically, ECT differs from the older/classical ideomotor theories in its account of how the actor stores and uses information about observed acts (e.g., the content of "movement ideas," the memory representations of movements, how the ideas are derived from experiences with actual movements, and the ways in which the movements are "encoded" by the actor). However, the ECT shares enough certain common or basic structural features with the classical theory of ideomotor action (e.g., both theories essentially are "information-processing" models that attempt to explain behavior in terms of stored-action representations) that it poses a great challenge for ECT to distinguish itself as a truly novel approach in the area of choice theory. See also CHOICE THEORIES. REFERENCES

James, W. (1890/1950). The principles of psychology. New York: Holt/Dover. Kvadsheim, R. (1992). The intelligent imitator: Towards an exemplar theory of behavioral choice. Amsterdam: North-Holland.

EXERCISE, LAW OF. In his law of exercise, Edward Lee Thorndike (1898) recognized and renamed an older generalization in psychology and education concerning learning called the law of frequency. The law of exercise states that, other things being equal, the repeated occurrence of any act makes that behavior easier to perform and is less vulnerable or subject to error; that is, "practice makes perfect." Thorndike regarded his law of exercise and his law of effect to be of equal importance until 1931, when the law of exercise was given a subordinate position in his system. Thus, Thorndike was led by his own research to renounce his former position and to argue against "exercise" as a factor working independently of "effect." The phrase "other things being equal" in the definition of the law of exercise has been the topic of debate among learning theorists for decades. Another criticism of the law of exercise is that it does not take into account the important factor of "incentive" (i.e., reinforcement value). See also DISUSE, LAW/THEORY OF; EFFECT, LAW OF; FREQUENCY, LAW OF; USE, LAW OF. REFERENCE

Thorndike, E. L. (1898). Animal intelligence: An experimental study of the associative processes in animals. Psychological Review Monograph Supplement, 2, No. 8.

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