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Learning Theories.docx

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Psychology 1000

Learning Theories Edward L. Thorndike Ivan Petrovich Pavlov B.F. Skinner These 3 psychologists dominated the field of psychology  Formation of associations  Learning Principles – One vs. Two factor theories  Classical (Pavlovian) Conditioning  Operant (Skinnerian) Conditioning  Observational Learning  Cognition & Learning Learning?  Learning is relatively permanent change in behavior which is independent of the effects of maturation and temporary factors such as Fatigue or Sensory adaptation  Not due to temporal factors (Aging) Difference in Theories Connectionist Cognatavistic All terms will tend towards Abstraction Single Factor Theories  Assertion is that one type of learning is predominant  One basic process or principle or principle underlies all forms of learning such as: o Principle of Contiguity  Response in the presence of a particular stimuli leads to learning through association  Strongly linked to Classical or Pavlovian conditioning  It is not entirely absent from the operant paradigm which may also be interpreted via contiguity o Principle of Reinforcement  Clark Hull’s Original Operant learning paradigm  Contention is that drive reduction is the motivating factor in learning (E.g., Hunger-eat-reduction of drive to eat)  An unconditioned stimulus (Something external) may also be interpreted as setting up a drive reduction situation Two Factor Theories (We cant account for all learning on the basis of one principle)  The most notable theorists who have utilized combination of Contiguity and Reinforcement in their theories are: Edward L. Thorndike and B.F. Skinner  Joining contiguity and Reinforcement Law of Effect  States that a behavior followed by a satisfying consequence will become more likely to occur while a behavior followed by an unsatisfying outcome will become less likely to occur  Basis of Thorndike’s instrumental learning  Also became of foundation of Behaviorism Theoretical Language  Connectionist vs. Gestalt Vs. Cognativistic Connectionist o In connectionist terms the hypothetical unit “Learned” is either an “Association” or a “Habit” or a “Stimulus-Response Bond” o The view of association varies across theories. Some see it as gradual while others see it as “single” trial all or none event.  Extinction o In some theories it is viewed as the gradual weakening of an association o Other theories view an association as a permanent formation o In these latter theories extinction cannot occur  Rather than a process of gradual weakening, some theories postulate that what appears to be extinction is actually a consequence of “Counter-Conditioning”  Counter- conditioning is a process through which and existing association is Replaced by a newly formed association which produces a behavior which is antagonistic or incompatible with the behavior produced by the original association Gestalt Theories – the some of parts is greater than the whole  Edwards Chase Tolman is the father of this approach to learning  Contrary to association as the basic unit of learning Tolman postulated the theory of “Purposive Behavior” o His believe was that just watching individuals behavior, was too much attention to the parts and not enough attention to the whole, he believe behavior is organized around a specific goal  Consequently the behavior is controlled by Cognitive processes  The single most important contribution of this approach is LATENT learning  Latent Learning refers to the possibility that learning may occur unobserved (Learning which occurs without our ability to observe it) o Which is why behavior and learning is controlled by Cognitive processes, (they are not observable or verifiable)  So under certain changed in conditions, the unobserved learning may manifest itself as a sudden increased efficiency in performance  This view challenges or qualifies ALL views which rely on Drive Reduction as basis of learning  It sets the stage for Cognitive views Cognitive Theories  Cognitive approaches focu
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