In this article Skinner talks about three important theories he came up with. The first theory he talks about is to be found in the field of physiological psychology. He says, “We are all familiar with the changes that are supposed to take place in the nervous system when an organism learns. Synaptic connections are made or broken, electricalfields are disrupted or reorganized, concentrations of ions are built up or allowed to diffuse away, and so on. In the science of neurophysiology statements of this sort are not necessarily theories in the present sense. But in a science of behavior, where we are concerned with whether or not an organism secretes saliva when a bell rings, or jumps toward a gray triangle, or says bik when a cardsreads tuz, or loves someone who resembles his mother, all statements about the nervous system are theories in the sense that they are not expressed in the same terms and could not be confirmed with the same methods of observation as the facts for which they are said to account.” I completely agree with what he says in this paragraph. He’s just getting into that learning is lots and lots of scienceand how a person learns has a lot to do with what is going on inside of them, in their system, with their neurons, their organism, etc.
A second type of learning theory he talks about has a lot to do with the physiological as well. Although there is less agreement about the method of direct observation. Theories of this type have always dominated the field of human behavior. He says here that“they consist of references to "mental" events, as in saying that an organism learns to behave in a certain way because it "finds something pleasant" or because it "expects something to happen." To the mentalistic psychologist these explanatory events are no more theoretical than synaptic connections to the neurophysiologist, but in a science of behavior they are theories because the methods andterms appropriate to the events to be explained differ from the methods and terms appropriate to the explaining events.” Personally, in my experience, I would have to agree with this theory of his also because, as an aunt I have raised my two nieces and so I have seen when they play with their toys, for example a jack-in-the-box, how they can keep turning and turning the handle to make the littleclown pop out. I mean they could stay doing that for a pretty long time and laugh every single time. When at first they didn’t know how to work the toy, but once they learned what they had to do, they would keep repeating the procedure because they found pleasure doing that. And I’m just talking about one example of the many they had that has to do with this theory.
In a third type of learningtheory the explanatory events are not directly observed. The writer's suggestion that the letters CNS be regarded as representing, not the Central Nervous System, but the Conceptual Nervous System, seems to have been taken seriously. Many theorists point out that they are not talking about the nervous system as an actual structure undergoing physiological or bio-chemical changes but only as a systemwith a certain dynamic output. Theories of this sort are multiplying fast, and so are parallel operational versions of mental events. A purely behavioral definition of expectancy has the advantage that the problem of mental observation is avoided and with it the problem of how a mental event can cause a physical one. But such theories do not go so far as to assert that the explanatory events areidentical with the behavioral facts which they purport to explain. A statement about behavior may support such a theory but will never resemble it in terms or syntax. Postulates are good examples. True postulates cannot become facts. Theorems may be deduced from them which, as tentative statements about behavior, may or may not be confirmed, but theorems are not theories in the present sense....