Merlin Carl Wittrock (January 3, 1931 – November 28, 2007) was an American educational psychologist. He received the E. L. Thorndike Award in 1987.
He was born in Twin Falls, Idaho in 1931. He received a bachelor's and master's degrees from the University of Missouri and his PhD from the University of Illinois.
Generative theory of learning
Wittrock is best known for his generative theory of learning. He first published this theory in 1974. It is the parent of many current theories of academic motivation.
Wittrock had three children with his wife, Nancy. He died of heart failure in November 2007 at the age of 76.