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John Horner

Professor, Chair

John’s primary interest is in how humans and animals come to know about their world.  This question spans phenomena as diverse as simple conditioning processes to the workings of science, and perspectives as different as evolutionary psychology and neural network accounts of learning.  He has conducted research on decision processes in rats, chaotic behavior in pigeons, complex discrimination in humans, and how people detect change in causal systems. 

Professor of Psychology: 2003-present
Associate Professor of Psychology: 1993-2003
Assistant Professor of Psychology: 1987-1993
First year at Colorado College: 1987

Research Interests

Animal learning and adaptation, memory processes, neural networks, irrationality, causal judgments, and the philosophy of science


Horner, J. M., & Tung, S. K.  (2011).  Playing cards with Thomas Kuhn: A critical reexamination of the Bruner and Postman (1949) experiment.  Review of General Psychology, 15, 175-185. 

Horner, J. M.  (2008). The end of psychology: What can we expect at the limits of inquiry.  In N. K. Innis, (Ed.)  Reflections on Adaptive Behavior.  Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

Horner, J. M., & Comstock, S. P. (2005).  What are the important visual features for coin discrimination?  Applied Cognitive Psychology, 19, 1211-1218.

Horner, J. M.  (2002).  Information in the behavior stream.  Behavioural Processes, 58(3), 133-147.

Horner, J. M., Staddon, J. E. R. & Lozano, K. K.  (1997).  Integration of reinforcement effects over time.  Animal Learning & Behavior, 25(1), 84-98.

Horner, J. M. (1996).  If the eye were an animal… The problem of representation in understanding, meaning and intelligence.  Journal of Consciousness Studies, 3(2), 127-38.

Regular Classes

PY451 Final Project
PY437 Evolutionary Psychology
PY435 Behavioral Game Theory
PY344 Cognition
PY332 Learning and Adaptive Behavior
PY251 Psychological Investigations
PY202 Research Design
PY100 Introduction to Psychology: Bases of Behavior

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