John E. R. Staddon

John E. R. Staddon

James B. Duke Professor Emeritus of Psychology and Neuroscience

Education & Training

  • Ph.D., Harvard University 1964


Until my retirement in 2007, my laboratory did experimental research on learning and adaptive behavior, mostly with animals: pigeons, rats, fish, parakeets.  We were particularly interested in timing and memory, feeding regulation, habituation and the ways in which pigeons and rats adapt to reward schedules. The aim  is to arrive at simple models for learning that can help to identify the underlying neural mechanisms. I continue to do theoretical and historical work on the power law in psychophysics, operant learning, timing and memory, habituation and feeding regulation.  I have applied some of these ideas to economics and financial markets and social issues such as traffic control (Distracting Miss Daisy, The Atlantic, 2008and smoking (Unlucky Strike, Private Health and the Science, Law and Politics of Smoking, with David Hockney, UBP, 2013).  A second edition of Adaptive Behavior and Learning (Cambridge UP) was published in 2016. Most recently I have Scientific Method: How Science Works, Fails to Work, and Pretends to Work. published by Routledge in December, 2017.

Staddon, J. "What's in the journals?." Economist (United Kingdom) 414.9096 (July 7, 2018): 9BDUMMY-null. (Letter) Open Access Copy

Staddon, JER. "Simply Too Many Notes." The Behavior Analyst 40.1 (June 2017): 101-106. Full Text Open Access Copy

Staddon, J. "Theoretical behaviorism, economic theory, and choice." History of Political Economy 48 (January 1, 2016): 316-331. Full Text Open Access Copy

Cerutti, DT, Jozefowiez, J, and Staddon, JER. "Rapid, accurate time estimation in zebrafish (Danio rerio)." BEHAVIOURAL PROCESSES 99 (October 2013): 21-25. Full Text Open Access Copy

Staddon, JER. "Faith, Fact, and Behaviorism." BEHAVIOR ANALYST 36.2 (2013): 229-238. Full Text Open Access Copy

Staddon, JER, MacPhail, RC, and Padilla, S. "The dynamics of successive induction in larval zebrafish." Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior 94.2 (September 2010): 261-266. Full Text Open Access Copy

Jozefowiez, J, McDowell, J, and Staddon, JER. "CHOICE STUDIES IN TRANSITION." JOURNAL OF THE EXPERIMENTAL ANALYSIS OF BEHAVIOR 94.2 (September 2010): 159-160. Full Text Open Access Copy

Staddon, JER. "Faith and goodness: A reply to Hocutt." Behavior and Philosophy 37 (December 1, 2009): 181-185. Open Access Copy


Staddon, JER. "Learning as adaptation." Handbook of Learning and Cognitive Processes: Volume 2: Conditioning and Behavior Theory. January 1, 2014. 37-98. Full Text

Jozefowiez, J, Machado, A, and Staddon, JER. "Cognitive versus associative decision rules in timing." Subjective Time: The Philosophy, Psychology, and Neuroscience of Temporality. January 1, 2014. 355-377.

Staddon, JER. "Optimality Analyses of Operant Behavior and their Relation to Optimal Foraging." Limits to Action: The Allocation of Individual Behavior. New York: Academic Press, 1980. 101-141. (Chapter) Open Access Copy

Staddon, JER. Adaptive Behavior and Learning. Cambridge University Press, February 29, 2016. Open Access Copy

Staddon, J. The new behaviorism, second edition. January 1, 2014. Full Text

Staddon, JER. The New Behaviorism. Philadelphia, PA: Psychology Press, 2014. (Monograph)

Staddon, JER. The Malign Hand of the Markets. McGraw-Hill, 2012. (Monograph)

Staddon, JER. Scientific Method.. (Monograph) Open Access Copy

Staddon, JER. Scientific Method.. (Monograph) Open Access Copy