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Clark Leonard Hull. Hull Background. Born 1884 in Akron NY Graduated U. of Michigan in 1913 Ph.D. U. of Wisconsin 1918 1929-1952 Professor of Psychology at Yale Died 1952 Developed Hypothetico-Deductive System. Clark Hull. S E R = Reaction potential S H R = habit strength D = Drive

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hull background
  • Born 1884 in Akron NY
  • Graduated U. of Michigan in 1913
  • Ph.D. U. of Wisconsin 1918
  • 1929-1952 Professor of Psychology at Yale
  • Died 1952
  • Developed Hypothetico-Deductive System
clark hull
Clark Hull
  • SER = Reaction potential
  • SHR = habit strength
  • D = Drive
  • IR = reactive inhibition
  • SIR = conditioned inhibition
  • SOR = oscillation effect
  • SLR = Threshold
  • StR = reaction time
  • p = response probability
  • n = trials to extinction
  • A = response amplitute
clark hull postulate 1 2
Clark HullPostulate 1 & 2
  • Sensing the External Environment and the Stimulus Trace
    • Stimulus Trace S-s-R
  • The Interaction of Sensory Impulses = 
clark hull1
Clark Hull














clark hull postulate 3
Clark HullPostulate 3
  • Unlearned Behavior - an need arises an the individual has a hierarchy of responses patterns to take care of this need. These response patterns are innate and if the first response pattern doesn’t work then we go to the second.
clark hull postulate 4
Clark HullPostulate 4
  • Contiguity and Drive Reduction as Necessary Conditions for Learning
    • If a stimulus leads to a response and its satisfies a biological need (drive reduction) the S-R bond is strengthened.
    • The more often leads to a need satisfaction the stronger the bond (Habit Strength SHR)
    • Habit Strength or SHR = 1 - 10-0.0305N
clark hull postulate 5
Clark HullPostulate 5
  • Stimulus Generalization - a stimulus will elicit a conditioned response depending on how similar the stimulus is to the stimulus that was used during training (stimulus generalization)
  • SHR = generalized habit strength - transfer of training
clark hull postulate 6
Clark HullPostulate 6
  • Stimuli Associated with Drives - Primary motivation (D), at least that resulting from food deprivation, consists of multiplicative components: (1) the drive proper (D’) which is an increasing monotonic sigmoid function of h, the number of hours of food deprivation; and (2) a negative or inanition component () which is positively
clark hull postulate 61
Clark HullPostulate 6
  • accelerated montonic function of h decreasing from 1.0 to zero
    • D = D’ x 
    • where
      • D’ = 37.824 x 10-27.496*1/h+4.001
      •  = 1 - .0000045h2.486
clark hull postulate 7
Clark HullPostulate 7
  • Reaction Potential as a Function of Drive and Habit Strength - The likelihood of a learned response being made at any given moment is called reaction potential (SER)
  • SER = SHR x D
clark hull postulate 8
Clark HullPostulate 8
  • Responding Causes Fatigue, Which Operates Against the Elicitation of a Conditioned Response
    • Reactive inhibition (IR)
    • reminiscence effect - stop studying prior to test
    • massed vs. distributed practice
clark hull postulate 9
Clark HullPostulate 9
  • The Learned Response of Not Responding - fatigue is a negative drive state.
    • Conditioned Inhibition (SIR)
  • Effective reaction potential= ER = SHR x D - (IR + SIR)
clark hull postulate 10
Clark HullPostulate 10
  • Factors Tending to Inhibit a Learned Response Change from Moment to Moment - there is an “inhibitory potentiality” which varies from moment to moment and operates against the elicitation of a response
    • Oscillation effect (SOR)
    • This is a wild card in Hull’s theory
clark hull postulate 101
Clark HullPostulate 10
  • .
  • Momentary Effective Reaction Formation = SER
    • Momentary Effective Reaction Potential .SER = SHR x D - (IR + SIR) - SOR
clark hull postulate 11
Clark HullPostulate 11
  • Momentary Effective Reaction Potential Must Exceed a Certain Value Before a Learned Response Can Occur .
    • The value of SER must exceed the reaction threshold (SLR)
clark hull postulate 12
Clark HullPostulate 12
  • The Probability that a Learned Response Will Be Made Is a Combined Function of SER,SOR, and SLR
    • In the beginning of training the momentary reaction potential will be close to the threshold therefore the oscillation effect will play a role. As training goes on the oscillation effect will play less of a role.
clark hull postulate 13 14
Clark HullPostulate 13 & 14
  • The greater the Value of the Effective Momentary Reaction Potential the Shorter will be the Latency Between S and R
    • Latency = (StR)
  • The value of the Effective Momentary Reaction Potential will Determine Resistance to Extinction
clark hull postulate 15 16
Clark HullPostulate 15 & 16
  • The Amplitude of a Conditioned Response Varies Directly with the Effective Momentary Reaction Potential
  • When Two or More Incompatible Responses Tend to Be Elicited in the Same Situation, the One with the Greatest Effective Momentary Reaction Potential will Occur
clark hull changes 1952
Clark HullChanges - 1952
  • Performance is altered as a result of the size of the reinforcement, therefore Hull included incentive as a factor (K)
    • Crespi Effect - a rapid change in performance as a result of a change in the size of the reinforcement
clark hull stimulus intensity
Clark Hullstimulus-intensity
  • Stimulus Intensity Dynamism
    • the greater the intensity of a sitmlus, the greater the probability that a learned response will be elicited .SER = [ SHR x D x V x K- (IR + SIR)] - SOR
  • Instead of drive reduction Hull decided that it should be drive stimulus reduction SD
    • Actual Drive does not leave for a while
clark hull r g
Clark HullrG
  • Fractional Antedating Goal Response rG
  • This is Hull’s “mental” component
  • rG ) - this concept involves both operant and classical conditioning.
  • A rat runs a T maze, no food is in the left wing and food is in the right wing. The rat will soon learn to go to the right
clark hull r g1
Clark Hull rG
  • Turning the corner (since it always comes just prior to the reinforcement of food) becomes a secondary reinforcer.
  • But, it also becomes a conditioned stimulus for salivation
  • The corner therefore acts both as a conditioned stimulus and a secondary reinforcement.
clark hull r g2
Clark Hull rG
  • Since the corner is a cs salivation follows, but the salivation becomes a secondary reinforcement as well since it is always followed by food.
  • Likewise one could say that a variety of internal stimului (kinesthetic receptors) result in muscle twitches etc becoming secondary reinforcers, and keep the animal moving forward
clark hull r g3
Clark Hull rG


R1 R2 R3 R4

rG-sG rG-sG rG-sG

clark hull habit family hierarchy
Clark HullHabit Family Hierarchy
  • The habit family hierarchy simply refers to the fact that in any learning situation, any number of responses are possible and the one that is most likely is the one that brings about reinforcement most rapidly and with the least amount of effort.
    • If one way is blocked we try another
clark hull habit family hierarchy1
Clark HullHabit Family Hierarchy





rG-sG rG-sG rG-sG







  • Mowrer went through a series of transitions in his theory.
    • Two factor theory - worked with avoidance conditioning
    • Animal learns to avoid a shock because a bell sounds and warns the animal of the shock. The anima must perform a behavior to avoid the shock.
  • Sign learning - bell which tells animal to avoid the shock acts as a “sign” or warning. Thus Mowrer referred to it as “sign learning”
  • Once the animal is warned of the shock it must perform a behavior to avoid the shock thus this is operant conditioning that Mowrer called “solution learning”
  • Mowrer went on to note that many emotions can be explained with the two factor theory
    • Decremental Learning is a stimulus that reduces a drive reduction like eating vs. Incremental Learning where a stimulus increases a drive like shock
    • One can experience the emotion of hope if a bell sounds just prior to food or of disappointment if the bell sounds just prior to the removal of food
  • Eventually Mowrer considered all learning “sign learning”.
    • Mowrer felt that even proprioceptive stimuli come to give a sign of what to expect and there was not the need for solution learning.
kenneth spence
Kenneth Spence
  • Spence believed in latent learning - no reinforcement is necessary in order to learn.
    • Supported Aristotles law of contiguity
    • Supported Aristotles law of frequency
  • Incentive Motivation - Spence strongly believed in (K) Incentive Motivation
    • K was the energizer of learned behavior
kenneth spence1
Kenneth Spence
  • He believed that rG-sG
  • Spence therefore had the momentary effective reaction potential equal to:(D + K) x SHR - IN
  • Spence felt that an organism will make a response even if there is no reinforcement for doing so
kenneth spence2
Kenneth Spence
  • Extinction - frustration competition theory of extinction
    • extinction does not occur because of fatigue as Hull suggests but rather because frustration of not receiving a reinforcer competes with the reinforcer. Spence felt that we have a primary frustration when we do not receive reinforcement and like a fractional antedating goal response we build a fractional antedating frustration response.
abram amsel
Abram Amsel
  • Examined Spence’s idea that frustration causes extinction
    • Amsel and Roussel showed that animal increases responding before decreasing responding during extinction frustration effect
    • Bower showed that the larger the reinforcer the faster the extinction, assumably from frustration.
abram amsel1
Abram Amsel
  • Analyzed partial reinforcement effect - (extinction is slower when organism is being reinforced with a partial reinforcement)
  • Developed fractional antedating frustration response
neal miller
Neal Miller
  • Visceral Conditioning and Biofeedback