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 “The term learning covers every modification in
behavior to meet environmental requirements”.
(Gardner Murphy, 1968)

 Learning is the acquisition of new behavior or the

strengthening or weakening of old behavior as the
result of experience.
(Henry P Smith, 1962)

 Learning can be defined as any relatively

permanent change in behavior which occurs as a
result of practice or experience.
 Learning is a change in behavior-
change- better or worse
 It’s a change that take place through
practice or experience; changes due to
growth and maturation are not
 The change must be relatively
permanent, it must last for a fairly
long period.
 Process
 Experience and training
 Bring changes in the behavior
 Prepares an individual for necessary
adjustment and adaptation.
 Goal- oriented
 Universal and continuous
Types of Learning
 Verbal learning-acquisition of verbal behavior
 Motor learning-motor skills
 Concept learning- mental image.
 Problem solving- higher learning; reasoning,
thinking, power of observation, discrimination,
generalization, imagination, ability to infer and
draw conclusions etc.
 Serial learning- alphabet, numbers, tables etc.
 Paired- associate learning- based on the
 It’s a form of associative learning.
 Two types of conditioning
- Classical/pavlovian conditioning.
- Instrumental/operant
Classical Conditioning
 Ivan P Pavlov (1927)

Components of classical conditioning

1.The unconditional stimulus (UCS)- unconditioned means
that the stimulus in question need not require prior
training to produce the desired response.
2. The unconditional response (UCR)-
-It is the response that elicited by the UCS.
-UCS reliably elicits the UCR
- UCR is often referred to as a highly reflexive
response, one which happens quickly and quite
automatically when the UCS occurs.
3. The conditioned stimulus (CS)
The CS is that stimulus which comes to elicit a
response by being paired properly in time with the
UCS (Bell).
4. The Conditioned Response (CR)
The CR is learned reflex which arises when the CS is
paired properly in time with the UCS. The CR is
referred to as a conditioned reflex for it becomes
conditional upon the presentation of the CS.
 Learning is a habit formation and based on the
principle of association and substitution.
Principles of Conditioning
1.Extinction- The process related with the
gradual disappearance of the
conditioned response on connecting the
S-R association is called extinction.
 If conditioned stimulus present alone-
decrease the CR and disappear
2.Spontaneous Recovery- after extinction
reappearance of CR spontaneously but
pairing of CS and US
3.Stimulus Generalization- Pavlov’s dog
provided response (salivation) not at the
sight of the food but to every stimulus like
ringing of the bell, appearance of light,
sound of the foot steps of the feeder etc.
associated with its getting of the food.
 Stimulus Discrimination- Stimulus
discrimination is the opposite of stimulus
 Sharp contrast to response in a usual fashion
the subject learns to react differently in
different situation.
 This may help us learning to react
only to a single specific stimulus out
of the multiplicity of stimuli and
enabling us to distinguish and
discriminate among a variety of
stimuli present in our environment.
Application of Classical Conditioning
 Fear, Love and Hatred towards an
object phenomenon or environment
are created through classical
 Example: If a father punishing
 Teachers misbehavior and improper
teaching may leads to distaste
towards the subject
 BF Skinner
 Basis of operant conditioning is trial and
error theory of Thorndike
 Operant is a set of acts which constitutes an
organism’s doing something. Ex: raising
head, walking etc.
 Operant conditioning refers to a kind of
learning process whereby a response is
made more probable or more frequent by
Reinforcer and Reinforcement
 Reinforcement is an identical to the
presentation of reward.
 Reinforcer is the stimulus whose
presentation or removal increase the
probability of a response re-occuring.
 Reinforcement
1.Positive- presentation
2.Negative – removal/withdraw
Both are leads to favorable consequence
Schedules of Reinforcement
1.Continuous reinforcement schedule
2.Fixed interval reinforcement schedule
3.Fixed ratio reinforcement schedule
4.Variable reinforcement schedule
 Reinforcement and its schedule play a key
role in the conditioning or operant
behavior and acquisition of learning
 Continuous reinforcement schedule increase the
response rate, thus least resistance to extinction
and lowest response rate during learning.
 Escape Learning- an organism acquires a response
that decrease or ends some aversive stimulation
 Avoidance Learning- an organism acquires a
response that prevents some aversive stimulation
from occurring.
 Two- process theory of avoidance given by Mowrer.
 It occurs when an event following a
response decrease the tendency to make
that response
 Presentation of aversive stimulus-
weakening response.
Mechanism of operant conditioning
 Once a response occurs, its reinforced
through a suitable reinforcer
 In due course response gets conditioned by
constantly reinforcing.
 Shaping
Implication of the operant
 Behavior modification
 Development of human personality.
 Development of teaching and
programmed learning.
Trial and Error Learning
 Edward L Thorndike (1874-1949)
 Experiment on hunger cat in a puzzle box
and its components are:
1.Drive- hunger which was intensified with
the sight of food.
2.Goal- to get the food by getting out of the
3.Block- the cat was confined in the box
with a closed door.
4.Chance success- as a result of this striving and
random movement the cat by chance succeeded
in opening the door.
5.Selection- gradually the recognized the correct
manipulation of latch.
6.Fixation- the cat learned the proper way of
opening the door by eliminating all the incorrect
response and fixing only the right response
Laws of Learning
1. Law of Readiness: Readiness is preparation for
action. If the child is ready to learn, he learns more
quickly, effectively and with greater satisfaction than
if he is unwilling to learn.
 It warns us not make the child learn till he is ready
to learn and also not to miss any opportunity of
providing learning experience if the child is already
prepared to learn.
 State of mind should be very well and organized and
maximum use of this knowledge should be made by
the teacher.
2.Law of effect
 The learning takes place properly when it
results in satisfaction and the learner
derives pleasure out of it.
 In a situation where the child meets with
failure or gets no satisfaction, the progress
on the path of learning is blocked.
 All the pleasant experience have a lasting
influence and are remembered for a long
time, while the unpleasant ones are soon
 Satisfaction/Dissatisfaction leads to
effectiveness of learning
3. Law of exercise
 Law of use- strengthening of
connection with practice.
 Law of disuse- weakening
4.Law of multiple response
When individual is confronted with a
new situation he responds in a variety
of ways before arriving at the correct
5. Law of attitude
The learner performs the task properly if
he/she has developed healthy attitude/
6.Law of analogy
An individual responds new situation on the
basis of the responses made by him in
similar situation
7. Law of associative shifting
Any response which is possible can be
linked with any stimulus
Theory of Insightful Learning
 Wolfgang Kohler- gestalt psychologist
 The process of learning as a gestalt- an
organized whole. A thing cannot be understood
by study of its constituent parts but only by
study of it as a totality is the basic idea behind
this theory.
 Learning as a purposive, exploratory and
creative enterprise
 Gestalt psychology used the term “insight” to
describe the perception of the whole situation
by the learner and his/her intelligence in
responding to the proper relationship
 Chimpanzee experiment
 Insightful learning- sudden “aha” or bolt of
lightening. Its bound to depend upon the
factors given below
 Experience
 Intelligence
 Learning situation
 Initial efforts
 Repetition and Generalisation
Transfer of Learning
 The carry over of habits of thinking,
feeling or working of knowledge or skills
from one learning area to another
usually is referred to as the transfer of
learning (Crow & Crow, 1973)

 Transfer refers to the transfer of

knowledge, training, and habits acquired
in one situation to another situation.
Types of transfer
 Positive Transfer- when something
previously learned benefits performance or
learning in a new situation
 Negative Transfer- when something
previously learned hinders performance or
learning in a new situation.
 Zero Transfer- previous learning makes no
difference at all to the performance or
learning in a new situation.