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Ch 5 LEARNING King - LEARNING Outline What is Learning...

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LEARNING Outline What is Learning? Theories of Learning Classical conditioning Applying classical conditioning to every day life Operant conditioning Observational, Cognitive, Social learning What is Learning ? Learning is the most commonly used word. In common language learning means it is a skill, e.g. learning of linguistic skill, musical skill, reading skill etc. In Psychology, the definition of Learning is much broader. In Psychology, any systematic change of behavior , which is relatively permanent and which occurs as a result of practice or experience is known as learning process. Notice the key points in the above definition. 1. It is a systematic change of behavior . That means any sudden change of behavior cannot be considered learning. For example, an individual who has learned to interact with others suddenly has stopped to interact with others, because his personality has changed after having a head trauma and as a result his personality has changed due to trauma. This change of behavior has occurred not due to any systematic practice or experience. This change in behavior has occurred suddenly due to brain trauma 2. The change of behavior is relatively permanent . If you learned a skill today and not able to remember tomorrow is not learning. For example you learned some musical tune today and you are able to sing that tune for months, which is called learning of a musical tune. If you learn that tune and forget tomorrow is not considered learning. 3. That is why, the role of practice and experience is very important for learning. Change of behavior due to change of physical maturity is not considered learning. Although learning is a permanent change of behavior, it can be unlearned or suppressed. The word learning is utilized in any branch of Psychology A developmental Psychologist uses the learning concept in terms of Language, motor development. The clinical Psychologist utilizes the word to study how previous learning affects present behavior. Social Psychologist utilizes learning concept to study attitudes, prejudice, and social behavior. Theories of learning There are different types of theories which explain the learning process. The textbook emphasizes Behaviorist approach to explain learning as observable changes in behavior. One of the contributions of behaviorist approach is that the principles of learning which apply on animals same principles apply on human behavior. With this approach behaviorists started their experiments on animals and they applied the principles generated in those researches on human beings also. Conditioning: It is a form of learning process in which a connection is acquired between a stimulus and a response. This chapter focuses on 2 types of learning theories.
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