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Learning And Cognitive Perspectives In Psychology

1423 words - 6 pages

Many historians wondered great questions that would today be called psychological. Many wondered how a person processes information through their senses and transform this information to solve problems, and become motivated to act in significant ways. They wondered about the nature and whether or not it controls us or is it something we control ourselves. Like today’s psychologist historians wanted to describe, predict, understand, and modify behavior to increase the human knowledge and happiness. Unlike Psychologist today, scholars did not rely deeply on empirical evidence. They often used observations based on anecdotes or descriptions of similar cases.
Early approaches of psychology eventually evolved into the five major theoretical perspectives: the biological, learning, cognitive, sociocultural, and psychodynamic perspectives, which now dominate the field. These approaches reflect different questions psychologist may have about human behavior and how the human mind works. It can also describe different ways of explaining why people act, behave, and do what they do.
Two of the most known perspectives in psychology are the learning and the cognitive perspectives. The learning perspective is a psychological approach that reflects how the environment and how experience affects a person’s or animal’s actions. It emphasizes the importance of a unique experience in families, schools, and communities. Within this perspective, psychologist keeps their attention mainly on the environmental rewards and punishers that maintain or discourage certain behaviors. Behaviorists do not generally order the mind to explain behavior. They often prefer to continue with things they can observe and measure directly such as acts and events taking place in the objects surroundings. Behaviorists observe the surrounding factors that are rewarding a person’s giving in to distractions or that are causing their random out-burst (Wade, C., & Tavris, C. (2012) pgs.5-7). There are many different psychologist credited with the development of this perspective. One major theorist credited is Ivan Pavlov.
Ivan Pavlov is a Russian physiologist who got the novel prize in 1950 with his main work of digestion. But his empirical study of reflexes and conditioning are what became influential for the leaning perspective. His works describes the basic rules of the approach that explain learning as being a reflex response to a stimulus. In his main studies he used dogs, but he originally was paying more attention on salivation which is a reflex involved in the dog’s digestion process.
Supporting details of this perspective comes from Pavlov’s work. In his studies he called unconditioned response, those reflexes that already exist in all organisms, and unconditioned stimulus the certain stimulus that triggers a specific response. But what Pavlov discovered was that by conditioning he could condition his dogs to salivate when a neutral stimulus such as a bell sound was presented. This...

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