Encyclopedia of the History of Psychological Theories

2012 Edition
| Editors: Robert W. Rieber

Tolman, E. C.

Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4419-0463-8_122

Basic Biographical Information

Born: April 14, 1886; Died: November 19, 1959.

Edward Chace Tolman was born in Newton, Massachusetts, and followed his brother Richard, who became an eminent chemist, to MIT, graduating in 1911. He then entered Harvard for graduate work in psychology, obtaining the PhD in 1915 under Hugo Münsterberg, but influenced mainly by R. B. Perry, E. B. Holt, and R. M. Yerkes. His first academic post was at Northwestern University, but due to his pacifist views this became untenable. Through the influence of Herbert Langfeld, he was able to move to the University of California at Berkeley, where he remained for the rest of his career.

Major Accomplishments/Contributions

His early work involved imagery and memory, but after he arrived at California he threw himself headlong into the comparative psychology of learning with the aim of constructing a comprehensive objective account of all psychological phenomena based on behavioristic criteria. Early in this process he...

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  1. Smith, L. (1986). Behaviorism and logical positivism: A reassessment of the alliance. Stanford: Stanford University Press.Google Scholar
  2. Tolman, E. C. (1923). A behavioristic account of the emotions. Psychological Review, 30(3), 217–227.Google Scholar
  3. Tolman, E. C. (1932). Purposive behavior in animals and men. New York: The Century Co.Google Scholar
  4. Tolman, E. C. (1939). Prediction of vicarious trial and error by means of the schematic sowbug. Psychological Review, 46(4), 318–336.Google Scholar
  5. Tolman, E. C. (1941). Psychological man. The Journal of Social Psychology, 13, 205–218.Google Scholar
  6. Tolman, E. C. (1942). Drives toward war. New York: The Century Co.Google Scholar
  7. Tolman, E. C. (1948). Cognitive maps in rats and men. Psychological Review, 55(4), 189–208.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  8. Tolman, E. C. (1950). Letter to UC President Robert G. Sproul. In To bring you the facts (pamphlet privately printed and distributed by eighteen alumni of the Berkeley campus, August 17, 1950). From University of California website The University of California loyalty oath: A 50th anniversary retrospective. http://sunsite.berkeley.edu/uchistory/archives_exhibits/loyaltyoath/symposium/tolman.html. Accessed 27 Oct 2009.
  9. Tolman, E. C. (1959). Principles of purposive behavior. In S. Koch (Ed.), Psychology: A study of a science (Vol. 2). New York: McGraw-Hill.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychologyGraceland UniversityLamoniUSA