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Important Learning in Psychology 2023

Learning in Psychology

From the moment of birth until the moment of death, everyone is engaged in a constant learning process. We are all actively involved in learning activities to strengthen our capacity for adaptation to the demands of the ever-changing environment.

A learning has to happen for two reasons:

the environment’s existence of a stimulus, and
the emotional and intuitive tendencies that are inherent.
Through the construction or reconstruction of experiences under the influence of emotional and instinctive dispositions, a person continues to learn throughout all phases of life.

Learning is generally understood by psychologists to be relatively long-lasting behavioural changes brought on by experience. This notion of learning places special emphasis on three crucial components:

Learning entails changing one’s behaviours, for better or worse.
This alteration in conduct ought to happen as a result of repetition and experience. Learning cannot be equated with changes brought on by age or growth.
This behaviour change must be largely long-lasting and somewhat permanent.

One of the first philosophers to demonstrate that learning results in behavioural changes is John B. Watson. The Behavioural School of regarded, which rose to prominence or became widely accepted in the early half of the 20th century, is regarded to have been founded by Watson.

According to Gales, learning is the alteration of behaviour that results from instruction and experience.

Learning is the process of acquiring information, habits, and attitudes, according to Crow & Crow.

Learning, in E.A. Peel’s definition, is a change in the individual that results from a change in the environment.

Learning in Psychology
Learning in Psychology

Learning, according to H.J. Klausmeir, is a process that results in certain behavioural changes as a result of experience, teaching, observation,
Learning in Psychology

The key characteristics of the learning process are:

In its most basic form, learning may be defined as the process of acquiring experiences.
In its most complicated form, learning may be defined as the process of acquiring, remembering, and changing experience.
It restores the link between a stimulus and a reaction.
It is a technique for solving issues and is focused with modifying the environment.
It covers the entire spectrum of actions that might have an essentially lasting impact on the person.
Learning involves acquiring new experiences, holding onto those experiences, developing those experiences gradually, and combining both old and new experiences to form new patterns.
Cognitive, conative, and emotional factors are all important in learning.
Learning in Psychology

Scope of Learning in Psychology

Learning in Psychology

The field of psychology covers a wide range of theoretical viewpoints, research subfields, and practical applications pertaining to how people learn, remember, and use knowledge, skills, behaviours, and attitudes. Understanding learning is essential for comprehending educational, social, therapeutic, and organisational contexts since learning is a fundamental process that affects human behaviour and cognitive development. The following are some significant facets of the psychology learning spectrum: Learning in Psychology

Theoretical Angles:

Focusesing on observable behaviours and the impact of the environment on learning, behaviourism. The traditional theorists Pavlov, Watson, and Skinner all contributed to this viewpoint.
Theories of cognitive learning place a strong emphasis on the mind, memory, and cognitive structures. This group includes the ideas of information processing and cognitive development developed by Piaget.

Theories of cognitive learning place a strong emphasis on the mind, memory, and cognitive structures. This group includes the ideas of information processing and cognitive development developed by Piaget.
Theory of Social Learning: Highlight Albert Bandura’s idea that observation and modelling play a key part in learning. This viewpoint takes into account the effects of both societal and individual cognitive elements. Learning in Psychology
Types of Education:

Classical conditioning involves inducing a response by linking a neutral stimulus to a physiologically important stimulus.
Operant conditioning involves connecting actions to results in order to boost or suppress their occurrence.
Information processing, problem-solving, and insight-based learning are prioritised in cognitive learning.
Social learning is the process of picking up traits and attitudes through copying and observing others. Learning in Psychology

Application Domains:

Understanding how students gain information and skills, creating efficient teaching strategies, and resolving learning difficulties are all aspects of educational psychology.
Clinical psychology: The treatment of learning and memory impairments such amnesia and learning difficulties.
Enhancing employee training, skill development, and workplace learning via organisational psychology.
Investigating how social interactions and group dynamics affect how people learn and behave. Learning in Psychology
Applied Education:

Creating useful educational resources, curriculum, and teaching strategies is called instructional design.
Behaviour modification is the process of altering and changing behaviours, particularly in therapeutic contexts, using the principles of learning.

Designing training programmes to improve knowledge and competence in a variety of sectors is considered skill acquisition.
Research Topics

Investigating information encoding, storage, and retrieval processes is part of the study of memory and learning.
Understanding the difficulties that people with disorders that impair learning and cognitive functioning confront.
Neuroscience of Learning: Investigating the brain systems that underlie memory and learning processes.
Developing Trends

Technology-Enhanced Learning: Examining how to improve learning experiences via the use of digital tools and platforms.
Neuroplasticity: The study of how the brain may change and adapt in response to learning experiences.
Understanding how learning continues throughout life and how it affects one’s personal and professional growth is known as lifelong learning.

In general, the field of psychology is always changing, absorbing knowledge from several fields and adapting to new developments in technology and research methods. Education, counselling, workplace procedures, and our comprehension of human brain and behaviour are all significantly impacted. Learning in Psychology

Types of Learning

Our daily tasks, such as walking, jogging, driving, etc., must be learned in order to ensure a pleasant existence. These tasks heavily rely on coordinated muscle movement. Learning in Psychology
Verbal learning: This refers to the acquisition of words and other verbal communication tools such symbols, words, languages, sounds, pictures, and signs.
Learning concepts: We start learning concepts in our early years and they are linked to higher order cognitive functions including intellect, thinking, and reasoning. Abstraction and generalisation are two processes that are a part of concept learning and are extremely helpful for recognising or identifying objects.
Discrimination Learning: Learning is defined as the ability to discern between diverse stimuli with their suitable and varied reactions.

Learning based on principles: Learning based on principles aids in the most efficient management of tasks. Learning from principles demonstrates how many concepts relate to one another.
Learning about attitudes: Since our positive or negative conduct is dependent on our attitudinal predisposition, attitudes have a significant impact on how we behave.

3 Types of Behavioural Learning

Learning in Psychology
Learning in Psychology

In his seminal work, “Psychology as the Behaviourist View It,” John B. Watson, the founder of the Behavioural School of Thought, emphasised that psychology is an objective science, so placing too much emphasis on the mind should be avoided because it is impossible to measure or observe the mind objectively.

With the use of his well-known Little Albert Experiment, in which he trained a young child to be afraid of a white rat, Watson attempted to support his theory. Three different learning processes were identified by behavioural psychology: classical conditioning, observational learning, and operant conditioning. Learning in Psychology

Classical Conditioning:

When applying classical conditioning, the learning process is referred to as a stimulus-response association.

Pavlov’s Classic Experiment, in which food was utilised as the natural stimulus and was combined with the previously neutral stimuli—in this case, a bell—helped to illustrate the classical conditioning hypothesis. The desired reaction can be triggered by creating a connection between the natural stimulus (meal) and the neutral stimulus (sound of the bell). In the upcoming articles, this hypothesis will be covered in great length. Learning in Psychology

Operant Conditioning:

This theory, which was initially put out by academics like Edward Thorndike and subsequently popularised by B.F. Skinner, emphasises how behaviour is shaped by the results of actions. Learning in Psychology

According to the hypothesis, punishment or reinforcement will either cause a response’s intensity to rise or decrease. Skinner outlined how punishment can be used to limit or inhibit conduct while reinforcement can be used to increase it. It was also determined that schedules of reinforcement, with an emphasis on time and rate of reinforcement, had a significant impact on behavioural change. Learning in Psychology

Observational Learning:

Albert Bandura’s Social Learning Theory, which put emphasis on learning by imitation or by seeing other people’s behaviours, introduced the concept of observational learning. Four crucial components—motivation, attention, memory, and motor skills—must all be present for observational learning to be successful. Learning in Psychology

Learning Theories: Classical Conditioning, Operant Conditioning and Learning by Observation

The idea of learning is fairly wide and encompasses a variety of activities. The theories of learning are also viewed as different types of learning in many texts. Theoretical explanations of how people acquire, retain, or recall newly learned information are grouped under the heading of “learning theories.”

The conceptual foundation for describing how information absorption, processing, and retention occur during learning is established by learning theories. A wide range of elements, including emotional, cognitive, past experiences, and environmental factors, affect human learning. Learning theories outline the ideal methods or formats for instruction in order to increase learning efficiency and impact. Learning in Psychology

Early in the 20th century, many psychologists developed a growing interest in comprehending the significance of learning from a scientific standpoint. Psychology was studied with a scientific bent, emphasising only those elements that could be measured and quantified.

The learning process is influenced by environmental factors such as rewards, associations, observations, and penalties. Classical Conditioning, Operant Conditioning, and Social Learning are the three main theories of learning. Let’s take a deeper look at each of these three main learning theories. Learning in Psychology

Classical Conditioning Theory and Learning

Ivan Pavlov, a Russian physiologist, is credited with establishing the fundamental tenets of classical conditioning theory. Pavlov used an experiment on dogs to analyse their digestive systems in order to make this discovery

. During his research on the digestive systems of dogs, the Nobel Prize winner from 1904 made a very intriguing discovery. Before being fed, the lab assistant would enter the room, and he would note that his patient would start to drool. Although Pavlov’s finding was initially made by chance, the classical conditioning hypothesis eventually developed thanks to his research. Learning in Psychology

His Classical Conditioning theory laid the groundwork for the behavioural school of thinking while also playing a critical part in understanding essential psychological concepts like learning. Behaviourism is predicated on two key tenets: Learning in Psychology

As a result of interactions with environmental factors, learning occurs.
The forces of the environment have a significant impact on how people behave.

In accordance with Pavlov’s Classical Conditioning hypothesis, learning occurs as a result of the development of a connection between a once neutral stimulus and a natural stimulus. Be aware that classical conditioning puts a neutral stimulus in front of the body’s normal reactions. In his experiment, he attempted to combine the natural stimulation of food with the ring of a bell.

The dogs would drool when food would naturally appear, but after many associations, they began to drool at the sound of the bell alone. The automatic and spontaneously occurring behaviour are the main emphasis of the classical conditioning theory.

Learning in Psychology
Learning in Psychology

Key Principles of Classical Conditioning Theory

A reaction is first created during the acquisition stage of learning, and it is then gradually enhanced. A neutral stimulus and an unconditioned stimulus, which can spontaneously or automatically elicit or create a response without any learning, are coupled during the acquisition phase.

The subject will display a behavioural response that is now referred to as conditioned stimulus once this link between the neutral stimulus and unconditioned stimulus has been formed. To ensure that a habit is learned, it can be gradually enhanced or reinforced once it has been established. Learning in Psychology

Extinction: Extinction is predicted to occur when a conditioned response’s strength declines or vanishes entirely. This happens in classical conditioning when an association or pairing between the conditioned and unconditioned stimuli is broken.

Spontaneous Recovery: The process is referred to as spontaneous recovery when a learned or conditioned response unexpectedly returns after a brief resting time or unexpectedly re-emerges after a brief period of extinction.

Stimulus Generalisation: Stimulus generalisation is the tendency of the conditioned stimulus to elicit the same kind of responses after the responses have been conditioned. Learning in Psychology

Discrimination between stimuli is the capacity of the person to distinguish between stimuli that are similar to one another. It indicates that one should only react to certain particular stimuli and not to stimuli that are identical to them.

Numerous practical applications of classical conditioning theory exist. Various pet trainers find it useful for training their animals. Traditional conditioning methods can be helpful in assisting people in overcoming their phobias or anxiety-related problems.

By creating a supportive or highly motivated learning atmosphere in the classroom, trainers or teachers may also put the Classical Conditioning theory into effect while assisting students in overcoming their fears and giving their best effort. Learning in Psychology

Operant Conditioning Theory and Learning

Operant conditioning theory was primarily supported by renowned behavioural psychologist B.F. Skinner. The Operant Conditioning is sometimes referred to as Skinnerian Conditioning and Instrumental Conditioning for this reason. Instrumental/Operant Conditioning emphasises association formation in a similar way to Classical Conditioning, but these links are made between behaviour and its results.

The idea emphasised the importance of punishment or positive reinforcement in either raising or lowering the likelihood that the same action will repeat itself in the future. But the requirement is that the results must right away correspond to a pattern of behaviour. Opportunistic conditioning focuses on voluntary behaviour patterns. Learning in Psychology

Key Components of Operant Conditioning

Reinforcement: Reinforcements make a behaviour stronger or more intense. This has potential benefits and drawbacks.
Positive reinforcement is the process through which a positive occurrence or outcome is linked to a behaviour in the form of a reward or compliment. For instance, a manager may link bonuses to exceptional work performance.

Negative Reinforcement: This occurs when an unpleasant or undesirable occurrence is removed following a behavioural outcome. In this instance, eliminating the negative experiences strengthens the response’s intensity.

Punishment’s goal is to lessen the severity of a behavioural consequence, which can be either good or negative.
Positive Punishment: This type of punishment entails presenting a bad occurrence or result as retaliation for a behaviour. Learning in Psychology

Spanking is an example of a positive punishment for an inappropriate behaviour.

Negative punishment is when a desirable event or result is taken away in response to behaviour that has to be weakened. Negative punishment examples include delaying an employee’s advancement since they weren’t able to live up to management’s expectations.

Schedules for Reinforcement: According to Skinner, the frequency and timing of reinforcement influence how quickly new behaviour may be acquired and how quickly old behaviour can be changed. Learning in Psychology

Learning by Observation

Learning cannot, in Albert Bandura’s view, be only dependent on connections or reinforcing, as he has noted in his works particularly in his 1977 book Social Learning Theory. As seen by his well-known Bobo Doll experiment, his emphasis was on learning via observation.

According to him, kids closely watch their environment and the behaviours of those around them, especially their parents, teachers, and siblings, and they strive to emulate such habits in daily life. Through his experiment, he also attempted to demonstrate how simple it is for kids to replicate bad conduct or activities.

Learning in Psychology
Learning in Psychology

One of the key tenets of Bandura’s Social Learning Theory was that learning something through observation need not always result in a change in conduct. This change in conduct is solely impacted by the perceived necessity or motivation of an individual to support and embrace a change in behaviour.

Key Steps involved in Observational Learning

Attention: Paying attention is crucial for learning to occur through observational approaches. It is assumed that a fresh thought or notion would draw attention far more forcefully than one that is monotonous or conventional in nature.

Retention, which is influenced by a variety of circumstances, is the capacity to retain knowledge learned and recall it later.

Reproduction: This entails acting out or imitating the learned conduct, which will help the skill progress.

Motivation: Reward and punishment play a significant role in motivating people to emulate the learned conduct of a model. For instance, witnessing a coworker being praised for his timeliness and punctuality may inspire a person to be at work on time.

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