Thinking Essay

1346 words - 5 pages

The Ways I Learn Have Learned, Think & Reason and Demonstrate

As I reread this topic several times and tried to bring it to life to write an intelligent paper on it, I had to search my memory for the actions that made me think, learn, act and react. So, I took a trip down memory lane and thought back to my childhood and started thinking of my elementary school days, high school days, military days, right on through to raising my children and now attempting college myself. What a trip! I’m not sure if I am learning anything or if I just keep going to see where I will wind up. At any rate, I will try to apply all these things into this paper as well as where I relate it in the book “Hilgard’s Introduction to Psychology”.

(Your comment here on perhaps people should keep a learning journal; I am totally in agreement to this idea as it would be so helpful in later years.)

Learning has many forms, of them I believe that repetition is a common form, I do something over and over again and I do it wrong a few times, am told of my mistakes and how to correct them, then go back to repeat the process correctly, eventually I will do it properly, then I can say I have mastered a new feat. A good example of this would be riding a bicycle. I remember learning to ride by falling off several times, and being a youngster, I didn’t care about the bruises and skinned knees. I’d get up off the sidewalk, road, or whatever I landed on and repeat the process again and again, until I was able to do it without falling and even got brave and tried with no hands, (not a good idea when you are a beginner). As an adult learning to ride a bicycle is a much more difficult procedure, we aren’t as prepared to take the physical spills a child can endure, therefore, it is much more frightening to an adult to master bicycle riding.

Another method of learning that goes along with repetition is association, Pavlov (Hilgard p 228) studied how dogs react to stimulus, in offering a dog food when a light was on, when the room was dark, there was no food. In just smelling the food, the dog had a response; he would salivate making his response an unconditioned one. In association of food with light, the dog became conditioned to expect when there was light, he could expect food. The dog now has a conditioned response. There is an old adage that states; when you want to get something done, ‘dangle a carrot’ meaning offer something of motivational value as a reward to get whatever it is you want an individual to do. So here it is safe to say that association is classical conditioning and motivation is an integral form of this learning method. Taking this a step further, there is another form of conditioning known as aversive conditioning this happens when you begin to associate a negative act as a reaction to doing something wrong. An example would be, when we are in our teen years, and all our friends are smoking, and it is our turn to do the nasty deed, we vacillate,...

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