Organization of Behavior

The Organization of Behavior

Cover of the first edition
Author Donald O. Hebb
Language English
Subject Learning
Published 1949
Media type Print (Hardcover and Paperback)
Pages 378 (2002 Psychology Press edition)
ISBN 978-0805843002

Organization of Behavior is a 1949 book by psychologist Donald O. Hebb, in which Hebb introduces his theory about the neural bases of learning, which is now commonly known as "Hebb's postulate".[1]


Hebb proposes that whenever conditioned reflexes are established in an organism through learning, a new anatomical substratum is established in the brain through a physiological process in which weak or non-existent synapses are strengthened by biochemical modification or by permanent changes in their electrical properties. Learning, according to Hebb's hypothesis, is not simply something impressive upon a passive brain, but a process in which the cellular structure of the brain is permanently modified.[2]

Scholarly reception

Organization of Behavior is the most influential outline of Hebb's hypothesis. Author Richard Webster comments in Why Freud Was Wrong (1995) that the hypothesis has classic status within science and is supported by recent research.[2]




  • Hebb, Donald (1949). The Organization of Behavior. New York: Wiley & Sons. 
  • Webster, Richard (2005). Why Freud Was Wrong: Sin, Science and Psychoanalysis. Oxford: The Orwell Press. ISBN 0-9515922-5-4. 
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