Learning Essay

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Learning Donna Freeman PSY/390 June 23, 2014 Holly Berry Learning According to Gregory A. Kimble, learning is “a relatively permanent change in behavioral potentiality that occurs as a result of rehearsed practice” (Olsen & Hergenhahn, 2013). This definition was slightly revised n 1961 to clarify that temporary body states such as fatigue, illness, and drug use do not contribute to learning. Because learning itself is not measurable, the changes in behavior that take place after learning occurs are the measurable characteristics of learning (Olsen & Hergenhahn, 2013). Behavior in relation to learning is the measurable, quantifiable aspect. Learning is considered to have taken place after a series of five steps: overt or covert behavioral change that is neither transitory nor fixed, it is a semi-permanent change, it can occur any time after the learning happens, it is caused by repetition or rehearsal, and reinforcement is required (Olsen & Hergenhahn, 2013). If these conditions are met, learning is said to have occurred. Classical and instrumental conditioning are two types of learning. Classical conditioning happens when a neutral stimulus is placed before a reflex to cause a conditioned response. Two famous examples of classical conditioning are: Pavlov’s dogs and the Little Albert experiment. Pavlov trained dogs to salivate when they heard a bell by ringing a bell (neutral stimulus) while offering food (unconditioned stimulus) to cause salivation (unconditioned response). Over time, the dogs salivated (conditioned response) with the sound of the bell (conditioned stimulus) (Feldman, 2010). In the Little Albert experiment an infant was conditioned to fear rats. By pairing a loud noise with the sight of a rat the experimenters ultimately caused Little Albert to fear rats as well as objects that resembled the rat, including white rabbits, a

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