EDWARD LEE THORNDIKE was born on August 31, 1874, and died a few days before his seventy-fifth birthday. In conformity with family tradition, he took his first degree at Wesleyan University and then went to Harvard, where he worked with William James. on the methods by which animals learn, a subject which was to be his life task, though in later decades it was the animal 'man' which chiefly interested d him, individually and in communities. Then at Columbia University he took the Ph.D. in 1898 with a dissertation which made psychological history, and in the same year James Russell initiated Thorndike's lifelong connexion with Teachers College, Columbia, by inviting him to an instructorship.
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