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, JER, and Simmelhag, V. "“Superstitious” sequences." Proceedings of the 78th Annual Convention of the American Psychological Association (1970): 757-758. (Academic Article)

Staddon, JER, and Innis, NK. "Reinforcement omission on fixed-interval schedules." Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior 12 (1969): 689-700. (Academic Article)

Staddon, JER. "Multiple fixed-interval schedules: Transient contrast and temporal inhibition." Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior 12 (1969): 583-590. (Academic Article)

Staddon, JER. "The effect of informative feedback on temporal tracking in the pigeon." Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior 12 (1969): 27-38. (Academic Article) Open Access Copy

Innis, NA, and Staddon, JER. "Scopolamine and reinforcement omission on fixed-interval schedules." Psychonomic Science 14.1 (January 1969): 43-44. Full Text

Staddon, JER. "Spaced responding and choice: A preliminary analysis." Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior 11 (1968): 669-682. (Academic Article) Open Access Copy

Staddon, JER. "Asymptotic behavior: The concept of the operant." Psychological Review 74 (1967): 377-391. (Academic Article)

Staddon, JER. "Attention and temporal discrimination: Factors controlling responding under a cyclic-interval schedule." Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior 10 (1967): 349-359. (Academic Article)

Staddon, JER, and Innis, NK. "Preference for fixed vs. variable amounts of reward." Psychonomic Science 4 (1966): 193-194. (Academic Article)