THE CONCEPT OF LEARNING
Professor Missy Madden-Schlegel
September 26, 2010
Learning is defined as an experience that produces lasting change in the mind of the person receiving the knowledge. Learning can be conscious as in memorizing scriptures from the bible and unconscious as in something happening without any deliberate efforts (Schacter et. al., 2009). From an education standpoint, learning can also involve helping people by giving information that they can use in life. For the purposes of psychology, learning is considered a change in behavior. In the case of Adam and Teri as described in the text, their learning occurred on the day their daughter turned one; September 11, 2001. They learned to associate the events of 911 to their daughter’s birthday present -- the little yellow goal. This learning occurred unconsciously; something they obviously were not expecting. Sitting there on their couch watching the events of 911 enfolds right before their eyes, was a learning I am sure have stayed with them since that day. According to Daniel Schacter, observational learning is learning that takes place by observing someone (Schacter et al, 2009). I am a visual person so this is true of me in regards to learning. I learn best when I am able to observe someone in action and allowed to repeat those same actions myself so my theory on observational learning is that it does occur by watching the observed. I imagine there are certain characteristics individuals will look for when observing someone. These characteristics can be anything from looks, the way they dress, intellect, charisma; even the ability to do something great like sing or speak well. The observer will pick out the characteristics they are most attracted to and imitate that behavior. In situations where the observed is punished or rewarded for a particular behavior, the observer more than likely will choose the behavior that yields the most...
References: Schacter, D. (2009). The methods of psychology: Observational learning: Look at me. Worth
Publishers. New York, NY. pp. 242-244.
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