Big Question: What is learning? What type of learning is most important and/or effective? Learning Objectives: ·Discuss the nature and importance of learning and describe how behaviorism approached the study of learning. ·Describe the general process of classical conditioning. ·Explain the process of acquisition, extinction, spontaneous recovery, generalization, and discrimination. ·Discuss the biological and cognitive constraints on different types of learning. ·Describe the process of operant conditioning, including the process of shaping. ·Identify the different types of reinforcers and describe the schedules of partial reinforcement. ·Discuss the effects of punishment on behavior. ·Describe the process of observational learning and discuss the effects of antisocial and prosocial modeling.
Learning Overview“No topic is closer to the heart of psychology than learning, a relatively permanent change in an organism’s behavior due to experience.” The Learning chapter covers the basic principles of three forms of learning: classical, or respondent conditioning, in which we learn associations between events; operant conditioning, in which we learn to engage in behaviors that are rewarded and to avoid behaviors that are punished; and observational learning, in which we learn by observing and imitating others.
The chapter also covers several important issues, including the generality of principles of learning, the role of cognitive process in learning, and the ways in which learning is constrained by the biological predispositions of different species.