Nature and Nurture

  • James G. HollandsworthJr.
Part of the The Plenum Series in Behavioral Psychophysiology book series (SSBP)


In 1972 Martin Seligman and Joanne Hager published a collection of readings along with their comments entitled Biological Boundaries of Learning (Seligman & Hager, 1972). In this work Seligman and Hager seek to accomplish two things. First, they question the widely held assumption that learning principles derived in the laboratory are equally valid across species and are unaffected by the particular stimulus, response, or reinforcer under investigation. Second, they offer an alternative hypothesis (“preparedness”) to explain much of the data that seemed at odds with traditional learning theory. In support of their position, Seligman and Hager assert that “animals, man included, learn some things easily, others only painstakingly, and still others not at all” (p. 463), and they propose that these differences have a biological basis.


Taste Aversion Taste Stimulus Afferent System Prepared Response Visual Feeder 
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Recommended Reading

  1. Plomin, R., DeFries, J. C., & McClearn, G. E. (1980). Behavioral genetics: A primer. San Francisco: W. H. Freeman.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1986

Authors and Affiliations

  • James G. HollandsworthJr.
    • 1
  1. 1.University of Southern MississippiHattiesburgUSA

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