Skip to main content

Thank you for visiting You are using a browser version with limited support for CSS. To obtain the best experience, we recommend you use a more up to date browser (or turn off compatibility mode in Internet Explorer). In the meantime, to ensure continued support, we are displaying the site without styles and JavaScript.

Response Learning


ALL theories of behaviour have to make predictions about observable responses. Despite the arguments of Kendler1, this should, not be allowed to conceal the fact that different behaviour theories differ radically as to the rules by which they determine membership of a response class. If we are to go on using the term ‘response’ for the units of behaviour among which we seek orderly relationships, it is important that we should be clear what we mean by it.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution

Access options

Rent or buy this article

Get just this article for as long as you need it


Prices may be subject to local taxes which are calculated during checkout


  1. Kendler, H. H., Psych. Rev., 59, 269 (1952).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  2. Macfarlane, D. A., Univ. California Pub. Psych., 4, No. 18 (1930).

  3. Lashley, K. S., and McCarthy, D. A., J. Comp. Psych., 6, 423 (1926).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  4. Lashley, K. S., and Ball, J., J. Comp. Psych., 9, 71 (1929).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  5. Deutsch, J. A., The Structural Basis of Behaviour, (Cambridge, 1960).

    Google Scholar 

  6. Deutsch, J. A., Quart. J. Exp. Psych., 11, 155 (1959).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  7. Deutsch, J. A., and Clarkson, J. K., Quart. J. Exp. Psych., 11, 150 (1959).

    Article  Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

SHELDON, M. Response Learning. Nature 202, 1141–1142 (1964).

Download citation

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI:


By submitting a comment you agree to abide by our Terms and Community Guidelines. If you find something abusive or that does not comply with our terms or guidelines please flag it as inappropriate.


Quick links

Nature Briefing

Sign up for the Nature Briefing newsletter — what matters in science, free to your inbox daily.

Get the most important science stories of the day, free in your inbox. Sign up for Nature Briefing