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John Dillingham Dodson (active 1908–1955)[1] together with Robert Yerkes proposed the Yerkes–Dodson Law relating motivation and habit.[2]


He obtained a Master's degree from Harvard University and was the first PhD graduate of the psychology department of the University of Minnesota.[1] His fate after the publication of his seminal paper with Yerkes became a mystery with inquiries first raised in 1921 and continuing through 2001.[1] Research published in 2012 finds he spent much of his academic life teaching at the Bowling Green College of Commerce, part of Western Kentucky University.[1]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Brothen, Thomas (Feb 2012). What ever happened to John Dodson?. History of Psychology 15 (1): 100–05.
  2. Yerkes RM, Dodson JD (1908). The relation of strength of stimulus to rapidity of habit-formation. Journal of Comparative Neurology and Psychology 18: 459–82.
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