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Bernstein, I.D. (1935). Psychoanalytic Extensions of The S-R Formula. Psychoanal. Rev., 22(2):158-168.

(1935). Psychoanalytic Review, 22(2):158-168

Psychoanalytic Extensions of The S-R Formula

Irving David Bernstein, Ph.D.

Modern Educational Psychology has been greatly and permanently influenced by the work of Thorndike whose Laws of Learning have become a part of a vast psychological system. These laws are based upon an hypothesis of neural bonds, or connections. It is said that an individual's capacity to learn is limited only by the number and complexity of the neural connections of which his brain is capable. This concept of neural bonds and connections is not favored by Freud who states that:

Research has afforded irrefutable proof that mental activity is bound up with the function of the brain as with no other organ. The discovery of the unequal importance of the different parts of the brain and their individual relations to particular parts of the body and to intellectual activities takes us a step further-we do not know how big a step. But every attempt to deduce from these facts a localization of mental processes, every endeavor to think of ideas as stored up in nerve cells and of excitations as passing along the nerve fibers, has completely miscarried.

This refusal to accept the basic factors upon which the Laws of Learning are formulated does not mitigate against the further discussion of the theories held by Educational psychologists. Those postu-lations which bear directly upon the neural hypotheses will, of necessity, be left to pure psychology.

The three major Laws are, first: Law of Readiness-if a bond is ready to act it is annoying not to act and satisfying to permit the act.

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