Learning & Cognition Essay

262 Words2 Pages
Learning can be defined as knowledge or a set of skills that is attained by instruction, practice or study. Learning takes place if various different ways throughout a person’s life. While young children have a tendency to learn more by playing and touching things with their hands, adults and older children learn through reading and studying. The desire to learn manifests an insatiable curiosity that drives an individual to absorb everything that he or she can hear, see, or read in order to master a task or subject. First, learning is indexed by a change in behavior; in other words, the results of learning must always be translated into observable behavior. After learning, learners are capable of doing something that they could not do before learning took place. Second, this behavioral change is relatively permanent; that is, it is neither transitory nor fixed. Third, the change in behavior need not occur immediately following the learning experience. Although there may be a potential to act differently, this potential to act may not be translated into behavior until a later time. Fourth, the change in behavior (or behavior potentiality) results from experience or practice. Fifth, the experience, or practice, must be reinforced; that is, only those responses that lead to reinforcement will be learned. Although the terms reward and reinforcement are often used synonymously, there are at least two reasons why they should not be. In Pavlov’s work, for example, a reinforcer is defined as any unconditioned stimulus, that is, any stimulus that elicits a natural and automatic reaction from an

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