Thinking about Thinking

Theories on human learning

Examining 3 Major Learning Theories

The first type of learning that this brochure will examine is mental conditioning. Remember when you were told by your mother “wait till your father gets home.” Instantly you would feel a tension in your legs realizing that you were going to get a whooping. This situation is a perfect example of mental conditioning. Classical learning is the more politically correct way to say mental conditioning. Classical learning is largely associated with connection emotions with memories. For example when you smell a thanksgiving turkey that might trigger and involuntary memory of your grandmother’s Thanksgiving at her house. Classical conditioning was first discovered in 1920 by Ivan Pavlov. After Pavlov found that dog salivate after being put through a routine of being fed after hearing the sound of a fork. Basically the dogs associated the sound of the fork with being feed and triggered an involuntary act of salivating. Operant conditioning is another type of condition that is associated with learning. Operant conditioning is associating a behavior or and action with a positive or negative reinforcement. For example every time a puppy is told to sit down and completes the task. The puppy is handed a treat and now associates sitting when being asked with a reward. This makes the puppy want to do the act when told to receive a treat. This is an example of positive reinforcement for the puppy. On the flip side of this positive reinforcement you have the negative side. For instance when the puppy has an accident in the house. The puppy has to be punished somehow so that he or she does not perform that task again.

Social Learning Theory

The second learning theory we will examine is the social learning theory. This theory is very similar to the classical learning and operant conditioning. The biggest difference in the two theories is that in the social learning theory behaviors are learned through the subjects environment. For instance, when a young child has older brothers and sisters that play sports. The young child often times will begin to attempt to play similar things. The young child can see how much fun and praise the older sibling is getting for playing sports and wants a piece of the action. This explain why athletic families often times share athletics as a passion. Also another example is a child idolizing a professional athlete. He or she might pick up behavior traits from the professional athlete by trying to immolate their idle. A prime example is when I was a twelve year old boy I used to watch the Dallas Mavericks. Jason Terry was one of my favorite players and wore his socks to his knees. After Jason made a shot he would do a specific thing to the crowd. In correspondence I began to wear my socks to my knees when I played basketball and would make the same gesture to the crowd he did.

Big image
Big image

Information Processing Theory

The final learning theory we will discuss is the information processing theory. This theory is based largely how we take in and apply information. The human brain is incapable of remembering everything that it learns throughout the day. Human’s pick out the information they want to keep, store, and apply. Focus is an essential to learning information. If a subject is not focused on what is being taught he or she will more than likely not retain the information. The sensory information (sight, smell, touch, and smell) is the first step in the information processing theory. That information that is sorted out and kept as important is stored in the short term memory. In this data bank is where the information is either kept for long or short term memory. If the data you sorted out is rehearsed in the short term memory bank than it will eventually become long term memory. So that way you can refer back to the long term memory bank when needed. For the most part students in high school and college use short term memories for the minor details on tomorrow’s test but forget what they learned right after the test. Only things that are practiced over and over are remembered for long term memory.

Big image