Theories of learning


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Theories of learning

  1. 1. Theories of Learning
  2. 2. Various theories…to explain different aspects of learning. But could be grouped under some major categories. 1. connectionist:  Classical Conditioning (S-R)  Operant Conditioning (R-S) 2. Cognitive 3. Social Learning
  3. 3. Connectionist Learning Theory Learning involves the development of connections between a stimulus and response to it. i.e. the association of a response and a stimulus is the connection that is learned.
  4. 4. • Some of those who hold this theory minimize the importance of reinforcement to leaning, while some feel that reinforcement is crucial in learning. • Reinforcement is employed in conjunction with two fundamentally different methods of learning connections: 1. Classical Conditioning, 2. Operant Conditioning
  5. 5. Classical Conditioning = a type of conditioning in which an individual responds to some stimulus that would not ordinarily produce such a response. Ivan Pavlov: experimented to teach dogs to salivate in response to the hearing of a bell.  measured accurately the amount of saliva secreted by a dog.  when presented with a piece of meat dog exhibited a noticeable increase in salvation.  But , when only bell rang…dog not salivated.  But after repeatedly hearing the bell before getting the food, the dog began to salivate as soon as the bell rang.  After a sometime, dog would salivate merely at the sound of the bell, even if no food was offered.  The effect is that the dog learned to respond, i.e. salivate to the bell.
  6. 6. • The bell was the conditioned stimulus. • The response is conditioned response, which describes the behaviour of the dog, i.e., it salivated in reaction to the bell alone.
  7. 7. Implications of Classical Conditioning • A conditioned stimulus becomes reinforcing under higher-order conditioning. • Classical conditioning is passive. Something happens and we react in a specific way. It s voluntary rather than reflexive. • Ex: employees choose to arrive at work on time, ask their boss for help with problems/ make silly mistakes when no one watches.
  8. 8. Operant Conditioning B. F. Skinner = a type of conditioning in which desired voluntary behaviour leads to reward or a punishment. = a voluntary or learned behaviour in contrast to reflexive or unlearned behvaviour. Pple learn to behave to get sth they want or to avoid sth they don’t want. Pple tend to repeat the behvaiour that fetches them reward.
  9. 9. • Skinner said that creating pleasing consequences to follow specific forms of behaviour would increase the frequency of that behaviour. • Most likely pple engage in desired behaviour if they are +vely reinforced for doing so. • Rewards are most effective if they immediately follow the desired response. • On the contrary, behaviour that is not rewarded, or is punished is less likely to be repeated.
  10. 10. Differences b/w Classical and Operant Conditioning Classical Conditioning Operant Conditioning 1. Responses are elicited (i.e. reactive). 2. Responses are fixed to stimulus (no choice). 3. Conditioned stimulus (CS): sound, an object, a person. 4. Conditioning is implemented before response. 5. First a stimulus is produced and then the desired behaviour is expected. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. Responses are emitted by a person (Proactive). Responses are variable in types and degrees (choice). CS is a situation such as office, a social stetting, a specific set of circumstances. Conditioning is is implemented after response. First we get a behaviour pattern and then either by reward or by a avoidance of punishment we reinforce that behaviour.
  12. 12. • Connectionist theory says learning is developed through connection b/w stimuli and response. • Cognitive theory stresses the importance of perception, problem solving and insight. • Learning occurs through discovering meaningful patterns which enable us to solve problems. • Cognitive learning involves learning ideas, concepts, attitudes and facts that contribute to our ability to reason, solve problems and learn relationships without direct experience or reinforcement. • It ranges from acquiring simple information to complex, creative problem solving.
  13. 13. Process of cognitive Learning 1. Draw information on the past experiences and use past leaning as a basis for present behaviour. these experiences represent presumed knowledge or cognitions. Ex: an employee, if given a choice of job assignment, will use previous experiences in deciding which one to accept. 2. People make choices about their behaviour. The employee recognizes his/her alternatives and chooses one. 3. People recognize the consequences of their choices. i.e., when the employee finds the job assignment rewarding and fulfilling he/she will recognize that the choice was a good one and will understand why. 4. Pple will evaluate those consequences and add them to prior learning, which affects future choices. i.e., if faced with same job choices in future, most likely the employee will choose the same one.
  14. 14. Forms of Cognitive learning 1. Iconic Learning: involves learning the association b/w two/ more concepts in the absence of conditioning. 2. Vicarious Learning/ Modelling: observing the behaviour of others and adjust that his/her accordingly. Also can use the image to anticipate the outcome of various courses of action. (= no direct experience of the object/event). 3. Reasoning: individuals engage in creative thinking to restructure and recombine existing information as well as new information to form new associations and concepts.
  16. 16.  it is an extension of operant conditioning.  It assumes that behaviour is a function of consequences.  acknowledges the existence of observational learning and the importance of perception in learning.
  17. 17. Process of Social Learning 1. 2. 3. 4. Attention Processes: pple learn from a model only when they recognize and pay attention to its critical features. Tend to be influenced by models that are attractive, repeatedly available, important to us or similar to us in our estimation. Retention Processes: A model’s influence will depend on how well the individual remembers the model’s action after the model is no longer readily available. Motor Reproduction Processes: after a person has seen a new behaviour by observing the model, the watching must be converted to doing. This process then demonstrates that the individual can perform the modeled activities. Reinforcement Processes: individual is motivated to exhibit the modeled behaviour if +ve incentives or rewards are provided. behvaiours that +vely reinforced will be given more attention, learned better and performed more often.
  18. 18. Managerial Implications of Learning 1. Motivation: the extent to which rewards follow high performance will affect emp’s willingness to work hard. 2. Performance Evaluation and Rewards: 3. Training: learning is the major goal of employee training.