Learning Theories


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HRD 847

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Learning Theories

  1. 1. Danielle Iozzino<br />HRD 847<br />Learning Theories <br />
  2. 2. The 3 Learning Theories:<br /><ul><li>Behaviorism </li></ul>Cognitivism<br />Constructivism<br />
  3. 3. Behaviorism:<br />Founded by John Watson <br />Behaviorists believe that behavior is directly observable.<br />Behaviorism doesn’t focus on the processes of the mind.<br />Connected with positive and negative reinforcement.<br />Behavior can be manipulated and conditioned<br />
  4. 4. Pavlov’s Dog<br />In this experiment the dog is presented with the ringing of a bell. The dog doesn’t respond.<br />The dog is then presented with food (unconditioned stimulus), and it salivates (unconditioned response).<br />The ringing of the bell is then paired with the food.<br />Every time the dog heard the bell, it was fed.<br /><ul><li>After conditioning, the dog would salivate (conditioned response) from hearing the bell (conditioned stimulus) alone.</li></li></ul><li>B.F. Skinner<br />He studied operant behavior by looking at positive and negative reinforcement, extinction, and punishment.<br />Positive Reinforcement: Behavior that is rewarded is likely to be repeated. Example: Getting a raise as a way to reinforce hard work<br />Negative Reinforcement: When an undesired situation is avoided the behavior is likely to continue. Example: If you don’t have to stay extra time at work because you work hard during the day.<br />Extinction: When a response is not noticed it is likely to disappear or become extinct. Example: Bad behavior is likely to diminish when ignored.<br />Punishment: Behavior that is punished is likely to become extinct. Example: If an employee is late for work they get a “strike”, and after 3 “strikes” they are fired. <br />
  5. 5. An example of behaviorism in the workplace:<br />A company was holding a contest to promote infection control.<br />Each employee was given play money in dollar bills.<br />If an employee saw another employee doing something positive to promote infection control, then he/she could give them a dollar.<br />If an employee saw another employee practicing poor infection control, then he/she could take their dollar away.<br />In the end, the employee with the most play money was rewarded with a cash prize. <br />
  6. 6. Cognitivism:<br />Behaviorists viewed the brain as an empty box, and the cognitivists believed that it was not that simple.<br /><ul><li>Cognitivists believe that there are processes going on inside the brain that account for behavior.</li></ul>Noam Chomsky helped discover the cognitive revolution.<br />A few contributing fields that lead to the rise of cognitivism were computer science, linguistics, human factors, information theory, and Gestalt Psychology. <br />
  7. 7. Gestalt Psychology & The Laws of Perceptual Organization:<br /><ul><li>The first law is Pragnanz, or the Law of Good Figure, or Simplicity
  8. 8. Our mind groups things in ways as simple as possible.
  9. 9. Example: We group the Olympic symbol as 5 circles.
  10. 10. The second law is Similarity.
  11. 11. Similar things are grouped together.
  12. 12. Example: We group similar shapes and colors together.
  13. 13. The third law is Proximity or Nearness.
  14. 14. Items that are closer together tend to be grouped together.</li></li></ul><li><ul><li>The fourth law is Common Fate.
  15. 15. Things that function together are grouped as a unit.
  16. 16. Example: Birds fly together, and we group them as one unit.
  17. 17. The fifth law is Familiarity.
  18. 18. Shapes are more likely to form together if they look familiar to us, or if they have meaning..
  19. 19. Example: A triangle above a square can be perceived as a house.</li></ul>Gestalt Psychology’s motto is that the whole is greater than the sum of it’s parts. This type of approach is important for teamwork, and is often reflected in the workplace.<br />
  20. 20. Constructivism:<br />Constructivists believe that one’s past experiences influence the person’s view of the world.<br />In order to learn, one must adjust expectations in order to allow for new experiences.<br />They believe that learning should be hands on, in order to allow openness to new experiences while problem solving.<br />A manager can help the employee learn by encouraging more interaction, and asking for feedback.<br />
  21. 21. Assimilation and Accommodation:<br />2 concepts within constructivism.<br />Assimilation takes place when a person learns new information.<br />This new information is incorporated into already existing beliefs.<br />Example: Marie has a basic understanding of insurance from entering information into the computer. The basic understanding helps her assimilate her new responsibilities of billing insurance companies for services.<br /><ul><li>Accommodation takes place when new information is learned, but does not fit into previous beliefs.
  22. 22. We then have to change our beliefs in order to perceive this new information.
  23. 23. Example: Anna believed that all blondes were dumb. She then met a blonde at work that was more productive than she was, and was also excelling in the company. By accommodating this newly learned information, Anna then realized that her generalization that all blondes were dumb, was wrong.</li></li></ul><li>Conclusion:<br />I agree with the Constructivism Theory the most. <br />I believe that behavior is learned through experiences, and that one’s outlook on life is altered by these experiences.<br />In order for learning to take place one must be interested in finding the answer to the problem.<br />Motivating employees can be accomplished by bonuses, verbal appreciation, lunches, and raises.<br />Obtaining feedback from employees is also important in making them feel part of a team.<br />Knowing the employee’s past history in the workplace would help the employer know what helps the employee learn the best.<br />