Theories of Learning

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The video explains how people can survive in a changing environment where they learn what works and what doesn't work. Psychological theories that aid in interpreting animal and human behavior are classical conditioning and operant conditioning. The reflex behavior of dogs was discovered by the Russian scientist Pavlov. To research the inherent reflex salivation in dogs, he used the mechanism of learning through association. Using a bird, he demonstrates the operant conditioning. The operant conditioning begins with simple orders, such as telling a puppy how to sit or get something. Operant conditioning can also be applied to help hyperactive children with severe behavior and in teaching both social skills and academic subjects. Positive behavior is monitored and reinforced by rewarding children who portrays a positive behavior.

Classical conditioning is based on pairing involuntary behaviors with the events that do not evoke an automatic response. Pavlov shows how emotions, especially fear, can be learned through classical conditioning. For instance, chapter eight illustrates a study conducted by placing an infant on a table and making a loud noise behind him that produced fear to the infant automatically. A white rat was then introduced and paired with the noise repeatedly. After several pairings, the infant learned to fear the white rat and would cry when it appeared even in the absence of the noise. Similarly, operant conditioning entails pairing of events. However, operant conditioning is independent of involuntary behaviors like emotional states (Module 8 159).

Both classical conditioning and operant conditioning can be applied in language development. Language skills allow students to interact socially, engage in pretend play, and to create concepts. Teachers promote language development in the classroom by applying concepts of classical and operant conditioning. This is mainly done by showing sensitivity to variations in students’ language patterns (Module 7 139).

Works Cited

Module 8. “Behavioral Learning Theories.” Master the Content. Pp. 158-172.

Module 7. “Language Development.” Master the Content. Pp. 130-145

September 11, 2021
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