APA Citation: Tryon, W. W. (1996). Yes -- Neural network learning theory can resolve the behavioral-cognitive controversy. the Behavior Therapist, 19(70), 72-73.


Psychology | Social and Behavioral Sciences


The positive comments and constructive ton with which Forsyth, Hawkins, and Hutchinson (1996) begin their response to Tryon's (1993b, 1995a, 1995b) thesis that Neural Network Learning Theory (NNLT) can resolve the behavioral cognitive controversy identifies consistencies between Radical Behaviorism (RB) and connectionistic Neural Network Learning Theory (NNLT). The questions they raise in subsequent sections are important to achieving rapprochement of the cognitive behavioral schism and are therefore addressed here. The primary task of unification is to combine the positive contributions of both the behavioral and cognitive perspectives without rejecting or compromising important values of either orientation. For reasons presented below, I conclude the NNLT, which is completely compatible with cognitive psychology, is also theoretically compatible with behavior analysis and will broaden the appeal of behavioral analysis within the scientific community.

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