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Thorndike, Edward Lee (1874–1949)

  1. Staff

Published Online: 30 JAN 2010

DOI: 10.1002/9780470479216.corpsy0994

Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology

Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology

How to Cite

Staff 2010. Thorndike, Edward Lee (1874–1949). Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology. 1.

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 30 JAN 2010


Edward Lee Thorndike was an undergraduate at Wesleyan University (B.S. in 1895) and then studied under William James at Harvard University (M.A. in 1897), where he began animal research in psychology. He moved to Columbia University to work with J. M. Cattell and continued his research with dogs, cats, and chicks. He created puzzle boxes with which he studied animal intelligence, and his work was published in a monograph, “Animal Intelligence.” He received his doctorate from Columbia University in 1898. He was President of APA in 1912.


  • animal behavior;
  • comparative psychology;
  • law of effect;
  • learning;
  • reinforcement