What is Human Learning?

Conditioning, Social Learning Theory, Information Processing

Conditioning

Classical conditioning focuses on the learning of involuntary emotional or physiological

responses. Examples can be: fear, increased muscle tension, salivation, or sweating (also know as respondents). Respondents are automatic responses to stimuli. According to classical conditioning, humans and animals can be trained to react involuntarily to a stimulus that previously had no effect/ a different effect prior. See the video below as an explanation of Pavlov's theory for classical conditioning.


Woolfolk, Anita (2015-02-25). Educational Psychology (Page 254). Pearson Education. Kindle Edition.

Classical Conditioning [cc]

People actively “operate” according to their environment. These deliberate actions are called operants. This process involved in operant behavior is called operant conditioning. We learn to behave in certain ways according to the environment around us. Most human behaviors are operants, not respondents. Classical conditioning does not explain how new operant behaviors are acquired. Think of behavior like sandwich, between two sets of environmental influences: those that precede it (its antecedents) and those that follow it (its consequences). See the Big Bang clip below as an example.


Woolfolk, Anita (2015-02-25). Educational Psychology (Page 256). Pearson Education. Kindle Edition.

Big Bang Theory-operant conditioning

Social Learning Theory

In social learning theory, seeing another person, a model, reinforced or punished can have similar effects on the observer’s behavior. Social cognitive theory expanded social

learning theory to include cognitive factors such as beliefs, expectations, and perceptions of self. Social learning theory recognized the differences between learning and performance—in other words, we all may know more than we show. You can learn something, but not perform it until the situation and incentives are right. Even

though learning may have occurred, it may not be demonstrated until the situation is appropriate or there are incentives to perform. See the clip below as an example.


Woolfolk, Anita (2015-02-25). Educational Psychology (Page 284). Pearson Education. Kindle Edition.

Social Learning Theory

Information Processing

Early information processing is easily described when comparing to a computer.Like the

computer, a human brain takes the information, performs operations on it to change its form and content, stores the information, retrieves it when needed, and makes responses to it, as show in the figure below.


Woolfolk, Anita (2015-02-25). Educational Psychology (Page 292). Pearson Education. Kindle Edition.

Big image

According to this model, stimuli from the environment (input) move the sensory registers. From there, some information is decoded and then flows to your short-term memory. As you may know, short-term memory holds information for little time, combines it with information from the long-term memory, and eventually, moves some information into the long-term memory storage. Short-term memory is also responsible for corresponding responses or output.The model above proved helpful not fully complete. The system above is mostly in one way, from sensory registers to long-term memory. But, later research indicated many more interactions and connections among the processes.


A more recent cognitive science information processing model retains some of the features of the old approach, but emphasizes the role of working memory, attention, and the interactions among the elements of the system, as shown in the figure below.


Woolfolk, Anita (2015-02-25). Educational Psychology (Page 293). Pearson Education. Kindle Edition.

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