Last Updated 03 Mar 2020

Learning and Cognition

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Essay type Research
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Running head: LEARNING AND COGNITION PAPER Learning and Cognition Paper LaTrice N. Weams PSY/ 390 Esther Siler-Colbert, M. S. , ABD April 8, 2013 Learning and Cognition Paper Examining the different concepts surrounded around learning and cognition and how they relate to each other will be the main focus of the paper. Giving a true definition of what learning really is and how behavior determines how someone learns will provide enlightenment on how learning can be achieved when being done according to one’s learning abilities and cognition.

What is the definition of learning? What role does behavior play in learning? Learning can be easily described as a combination of “comprehension,” “knowledge,” or “understanding” which has been put together to gain a complete understanding of what is being understood. However, in psychology Gregory A. Kimble (1917–2006), defines learning as a relatively permanent change in behavioral potentiality that occurs as a result of reinforced practice (Kimble, 1961, p. 6).

Kimble’s definition includes 5 important aspects being: (1) an observable behavior, (2) a semi-permanent change in one’s behavior, (3) the change in behavior does not need to be immediate, (4) experience or practice comes after the learned behavior, and (5) the aforementioned experience or practice needs to be reinforced. The behavior of constantly trying a concept multiple times until the desired level of achievement has been achieved is how learning is done. Since it is hard to show a tangible depiction of what learning is actively B.

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F. Skinner decided to make a box into which he put animals and was able to physically observe what learning was from watching the animals an action. What are two different types of learning? Describe each one in your response. The two different types of learning are instrumental and classical conditioning. Conditioning is a term that can be used as a descriptive measure for learning; there are two types of conditioning; instrumental and classical (Olson, 2009).

Instrumental conditioning can be described as working for a reward. Putting a child in a room with a gumball machine and pennies can prove instrumental conditioning is real. Once the child sees the gumball machine they will want one out of there. It will only take a few moments for the child to realize that they can put a penny in the machine and receive a gumball. This understanding was determined by B. F. Skinner when he put the animal in a box with a lever that produced a treat when the learned to push the lever.

Classical conditioning was introduced by Ivan Pavlov and simply states that someone or something can be trained with a conditioned stimulus to produce an unconditioned response. For instance an adult that has the same lunch break every day at work is classically conditioned. The conditioned stimulus is the certain time of day that they go to break on a daily basis and the unconditioned response would be getting hungry pains every day at that time once that lunch break has been passed. What is the relationship between learning and cognition? Provide a specific example.

The relationship between learning and cognition is one that one needs the other in order to make learning possible. Cognition is the steps that one would go through in order to learn or gain knowledge to a certain skill. From infancy to Adulthood people go through certain levels of expected cognition to aid in the learning process. People are supposed to gain a certain amount of understanding so that learning can be proven that it is actually taking place. One specific example of learning and cognition would be a child learning how to read.

They have to go through certain steps to be able to learn to read. Knowledge of alphabets, acknowledgement of alphabets, being able to put alphabets together to create words, understanding of what those words mean, and putting those words together to make sentences in which understanding is fully acknowledged are the steps that a child goes through to learn to read. This paper has provided an understanding as to what learning is and how behavior is a main factor when it comes to how a person learns.

It also provides a definition of what two learning types, which are instrumental and classical conditioning, with understanding as to how the two are distinguished from another. Understanding that cognition is the process that learning is acquired and without it neither one of them could exist alone. References Olson, M. H. & Hergenhahn, B. R. (2009). An introduction to theories of learning (8th ed. ). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson/Prentice Hall. Kimble, G. A. (1961). Hilgard and Marquis’ conditioning and learning (2nd ed. ). Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall.

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