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Learning by Neeraj Bhandari ( Surkhet.Nepal )
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Learning by Neeraj Bhandari ( Surkhet.Nepal )


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  • 1. L E C T U R E 6 Learning Concepts
  • 2. Definition  Learning can be defined as a relatively permanent change in behavior or performance resulting from experience or practice  Learning itself is not observable but only a change in behavior is observable  Learning cannot take place unless the learner actually experiences what has to be learned
  • 3. Features/Characteristics/Components  Brings about change: learning involves a change not necessarily improvement in behavior. Ex: bad habits such as reporting late for work.  Result in relatively permanent change: the change brought about should be long lasting. Therefore, short lived performance changes should not be confused with learning.  Arise out of experience or practice: any change in individual’s thought processes should be accompanied by changes in behavior  Learning through reinforcement: reinforcement is the process by which an external reinforcer produces & maintains a behavior. Continuous reinforcement leads to learning  Differences in the learning process: there are individual differences in the learning process. Ex: two employees being transferred to different locations will acquire different skills resulting in differences in learning
  • 4. Determinants of Learning  Motive: they are primary energizers of behavior, they represent the mental feelings of individuals  Stimuli: are objects that exist in the environment in which a person lives. It increases the probability of eliciting a specific response from a person  Generalization: this makes it possible for a manager to predict human behavior, similar responses in similar environment  Discrimination: different responses in different situations  Responses: responses need to be operationally defined & preferably observable as it shows behavior patterns  Reinforcement: anything that increases the strength of response & tends to induce repetitions of behavior  Retention: means remembrance of learned behavior over a span of time
  • 5. Theories of Learning  Classical Conditioning Theory  Operant Conditioning Theory  Cognitive Learning Theory  Social Learning Theory
  • 6. Classical Conditioning Theory  One of the simplest forms of learning  Has a powerful effect on our attitudes, likes & dislikes  We have all learned to respond in specific ways to a variety of words & symbols  Has been given by Ivan Pavlov by his famous “dog experiment”  Classical conditioning refers to modifying behavior by continuous reinforcement
  • 7. Classical Conditioning Unconditional Stimulus Unconditional Response Conditional Stimulus Response Unconditional Stimulus Conditional Stimulus Conditional Response MEAT BELL MEAT BELL Source: Ricky W Griffin and Gregory Moorhead “ Organizational Behaviour”, Hougton Mifflin (1986) page 106 Learning and Performance Management
  • 8. Operant Conditioning  States that behavior is a function of its consequence  People learn to behave to get something they want or avoid something they don’t want  Operant behavior means learned behavior  Reinforcement strengthens desirable behavior  The behavior that results in positive rewards tends to be repeated & vice versa  Based on such consequences, the behavior can be predicted & controlled
  • 9. Difference between Classical Conditioning and Operant Conditioning: CLASSICAL CONDITIONING OPERANT CONDITIONING 1. A change in stimulus elicits a particular response 1. Stimulus serves as a cue for a person to emit the response 2. The strength and frequency of classically conditioned behaviours are determined mainly by the frequency of eliciting stimulus. 2. The strength and frequency of operantly conditioned behaviours are determined mainly by the consequences. 3. The stimulus serving as reward is present every time. 3. The reward is presented only if the organism gives the correct response. 4. Responses are fixed to stimulus 4. Responses are variable both in type and degree. Learning and Performance Management
  • 10. Classical and Operant Conditioning Compared CHARACTERISTICS CLASSICAL CONDITIONING OPERANT CONDITIONING Type of association Between two stimuli Between a response and its consequence State of the subject Passive Active Focus of Attention On what precedes response On what follows response Type of response typically involved Involuntary or reflexive response Voluntary response Bodily response typically involved Internal Responses: Emotional and glandular reactions External Responses: Muscular and skeletal movement and verbal responses. Range of Responses Relatively simple Simple to highly complex Responses learned Emotional Reactions: fear, likes, dislikes Goal-oriented responses Learning and Performance Management
  • 11. Cognitive Learning Theory  Cognition refers to an individual’s ideas, thoughts, knowledge, about himself & his environment  Given by Tolman in his rat experiment  Learning is considered to be an outcome of deliberate thinking about a problem or situation based on facts
  • 12. Social Learning Theory  People can also learn through observation & direct experience  Social learning takes place when people observe the behavior of others & modify their behavior accordingly  Thus social learning is acquisition of knowledge through processing of information  It is generally done through the process of modeling (following the footsteps of a role model)