Environmental Aspects Of Learning

3100 Words13 Pages
Describe and evaluate one of the key concepts – environmental explanations of learning The Learning Perspective in Psychology is based largely on the ideas of behaviourism. The concept of behaviourism focuses on the situational aspects of behaviour, which means that behaviourists concentrate on environmental occurrences, believing that these shape our learning. They use environmental explanations because learning itself cannot be observed as it is not able to be measured, either quantitatively or qualitatively, and therefore the effects of learning, expressly human and animal behaviour, is investigated instead. One area of the Learning Perspective is classical conditioning. Classical conditioning is essentially built on respondent behaviour. While both forms of conditioning (classical and operant) use the stimulus-response approach, classical conditioning brings about changes in behaviour as a result of a stimulus, whereas operant works on eliciting an emitted behaviour, one already present in the subject, and reinforcing it to occur more or less frequently. The two types of conditioning form the foundation of the whole of behaviourism: other aspects are mainly based around them, such as Learned Helplessness, which is essentially classical conditioning. Operant conditioning can be used to produce complex patterns of behaviour, such as teaching a dog to open a door, by using successive approximation. Classical conditioning, however, is actually reasonably simplistic, as it is producing learning by association, which creates a link between two unrelated events or stimuli. For example, in Pavlov’s work with dogs, he used the unconditioned stimulus of food to produce an unconditioned response, which was salivation. He conditioned the dogs to salivate at the sound of a bell, by using trace association to form a mental link in the dogs between the bell and
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