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Chapter 2

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University of Toronto Scarborough
Management (MGH)
All Prof.

Chapter 2Personality and Learning Pages 4870 What is LearningLearning A relatively permanent change in behaviour potential that occurs due to practice or experienceo Practice and experience rule out viewing behavioural changes caused by factors like drug intake or biological maturation as learningo 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 skillsinclude jobspecific 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 advantageo Intrapersonal skillsinclude skills such as problemsolving critical thinking learning about alternative work processes and risk training o Interpersonal skillsinclude interactive skills such as communicating teamwork and conflict resolution o Cultural Awarenessinvolves learning the social norms of organizations and understanding company goals business operations and company expectations and prioritiesOperant Learning TheoryOperant Learning Learning by which the subject learns to operate on the environment to achieve certain consequences BF Skinner ratsaccidentally pressed leverfood pellet was releasedrats 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 learnedEg salespeople learn effective sales techniques to achieve sales commissions and avoid criticism from their managers Can be used to increase the probability of desired behaviours and to reduce or eliminate the probability of undesirable behaviours Increasing the Probability of BehaviourReinforcement The process by which stimuli strengthen behaviours Reinforcera stimulus that follows some behaviour and increases or maintains the probability of that behaviour Appearance is contingent or dependent on the occurrence of the behaviour Positive ReinforcementPositive Reinforcement The application or addition of a stimulus that increases or maintains the probability of some behaviour Eg a securities analyst who learns to scan financial newspapers regularly because his or her reading is positively reinforced by subsequent successful decisionsTend to be pleasant things such as food praise money or business success However the intrinsic character of stimuli does not determine whether they are positive reinforcers and pleasant stimuli are not positive reinforces when considered in the abstract Whether or not something is a positive reinforcer depends only on whether it increases or maintains the occurrence of some behaviour by its application Eg the holiday turkey that employers give to all the employees of a manufacturing plant does not positively reinforce anything
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