FocusIncreasing originality through instruction or practice
- Knowledge is … repertoire of behaviors
- Knowing is … behaving (triggered by stimuli)
- Learner is … an organism
- Learning is … changes in behavior (linking stimuli to responses)
- Teaching is … training; engineering behavior (through deliberate conditioning)
SynopsisOriginality Theory is one of the few Behaviorisms that deals with creative action. “Originality” refers to relatively infrequent behavior that is unlikely in but relevant to given conditions. (Creativity is seen as a consequence of, but distinct from originality.) Three methods to increase originality are identified: 1) presenting an uncommon stimulus situation that can’t be met with available responses, 2) evoking diverse responses to the same stimulus situation, and 3) evoking uncommon responses as textual responses.
CommentaryOriginality Theory is constrained by its parent discourse. Limited by Behaviorisms’ focus on observable actions and its assumption of cause–effect dynamics, Originality Theory is compelled to offer an account of phenomena that fall outside the frame of Behaviorisms in the language of Behaviorisms. The result is not particularly useful.
Authors and/or Prominent InfluencesIrving Maltzman
Status as a Theory of LearningRelative to most Behaviorisms, Originality Theory is more focused on influencing learning than interpreting or understanding learning.
Status as a Theory of TeachingOriginality Theory is focused on influencing learning, so it is appropriately classified as a theory of teaching.
Status as a Scientific TheoryWith regard to its scientific status, Originality Theory suffers from the same limitations as other Behaviorisms.
Please cite this article as:
Davis, B., & Francis, K. (2020). “Originality Theory” in Discourses on Learning in Education. https://learningdiscourses.com.
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