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The Process Of Learning Essay

1088 words - 4 pages


Learning is more than a person sitting at a desk and studying off a book. Everything that we do is a result of what we have learned. We respond to things that happen to us, we act and experience consequences from our behavior, and we observe what others say and do. Psychologists explain our many experiences with basic learning processes.

“Learning is a relatively permanent change in behavior that occurs through experience (Santrock, p.146).” By learning how to use a computer you will change from being someone who could not operate a computer to being one who can. Learning anything new involves change. You learned how to use a computer through experience with the machine. Once you have learned to use a computer, the skill usually does not leave you. Similar to learning how to drive a car, you do not have to go through the process again at a later time. There are three main types of learning are classical conditioning (responding), operant conditioning (acting), and observational learning (observing).

      It is a nice spring day. A father takes his baby out for a walk. The baby reaches over to touch a pink flower and is badly stung by the bumblebee sitting on the petals. The next day, the baby’s mother brings home some pink flowers. She removes a flower from the arrangement and takes it over for her baby to smell. The baby cries loudly as soon as she sees the pink flower. The baby’s panic at the sight of the pink flower illustrates the learning process of classical conditioning. “Classical conditioning is when a neutral stimulus becomes associated with a meaningful stimulus and acquires the capacity to elicit a similar response (Santrock, p.147).”

Pavlov’s dog salivates in response to a number of stimuli related with food, such as the sight of the food dish, the sight of the individual who brought the food into the room, and the sound of the door closing when the food arrives. Pavlov recognized that the dog’s association of these sights and sounds with the food was an important type of learning, which came to be called classical conditioning. Pavlov wanted to know why the dog salivated to different sights and sounds before eating their food. He observed that the dog’s behavior included both learned and unlearned components. “The “unlearned” part of classical conditioning is based on the fact that some stimuli automatically produce certain responses apart from any prior learning; in other words they are inborn (Santrock, p.149).” The salivation is called an unconditioned response (UR) and the food is the unconditioned stimulus (US). Referring to the baby, the sting was the US and the crying is the UR. Later on Pavlov rang a bell before every serving of food. After many weeks, the dog salivates every time the bell is rung even though no food is given. The bell is the conditioned stimulus (CS) and the salivation to the bell is the conditioned (CR). “Classical conditioning is a form of associative learning, which involves...

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