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University of Toronto Scarborough
Management (MGH)

Chapter 2 Personality and Learning (Pages 48-70) What is Learning? Learning: A relatively permanent change in behaviour potential that occurs due to practice or experience. o Practice and experience rule out viewing behavioural changes caused by factors like drug intake or biological maturation as learning. o Practice or experience that prompts learning stems from an environment that gives feedback concerning the consequences of behaviour. Primary categories of learning content: o Practical skills include job-specific skills, knowledge, and technical competence. Employees frequently learn new skills and technologies to continually improve performance and to keep organizations competitive. Constant improvement is a major goal and training can give an organization a competitive advantage. o Intrapersonal skills include skills such as problem-solving, critical thinking, learning about alternative work processes, and risk training. o Interpersonal skills include interactive skills such as communicating, teamwork, and conflict resolution. o Cultural Awareness involves learning the social norms of organizations and understanding company goals, business operations, and company expectations and priorities. Operant Learning Theory Operant Learning: Learning by which the subject learns to operate on the environment to achieve certain consequences. B.F. Skinner (rats accidentally pressed lever food pellet was released rats gradually learned to operate the lever in order to achieve food). Operantly learned behaviour is controlled by the consequences that follow it. These consequences depend on the behaviour, and this connection is what is learned. E.g., salespeople learn effective sales techniques to achieve sales commissions and
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