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V Theorists: Thorndike, Pavlov, Skinner

V Learning is change in behavior

V Stimuli in external environment produce
behavior change
V Arrange environment to produce desired
V Identify behavioral objectives
V Theorist ² Piaget
V Looks at the whole rather than single event
V Thinking person interprets stimuli and gives
meaning to events
V Learning involves reorganization of
experiences to make sense of stimuli
V Focus on mental processing
V Theorists: Maslow, Rogers
V Learning is a personal act to fulfill potential
V Hierarchy of needs
V Theorist ² Bandura
V Learning is interaction with an observation of
others in a social context
V Role Models
Thorndike: a scientific approach to
learning ± the early experiments

The Law of Effect: The Law of Effect is that, other things being equal,
the greater the satisfyingness of the state of affairs which accompanies or
follows a given response to a certain situation, the more likely that
response is to be made to that situation in the future.

The Law of Exercise: This law may be briefly stated as: µOther things
being equal, exercise strengthens the bond between situation and
response.¶ (Thorndike, 1912)
Behavioral Learning Theory

According to the behaviorists, learning can

be defined as ³the relatively permanent
change in behavior brought about as a
result of experience or practice.´

Behaviorists recognize that learning is an

internal event. However, it is not
recognized as learning until it is displayed
by overt behavior.
Behavioral Learning Theory

4 The term "learning theory" is often

associated with the behavioral view.
4 The focus of the behavioral approach is on
how the environment impacts overt

4 Remember that biological maturation or

genetics is an alternative explanation for
relatively permanent change.
Behavioral Learning Theory

The behavioral learning theory is

represented as an S-R paradigm. The
organism is treated as a ³black box.´ We
only know what is going on inside the box
by the organism¶s overt behavior.

Stimulus Organism Response

(S) (O) (R)
Behavioral Learning Theory

The feedback loop that connects overt

behavior to stimuli that activate the senses
has been studied extensively from this
Behavioral Learning Theory

Notice that the behaviorists are only

interested in that aspect of feedback that
connects directly to overt behavior.

Behaviorists are not interested in the

conscious decision of the individual to
disrupt, modify, or go against the
conditioning process.
Èlassical Èonditioning Theory

Èlassical conditioning was the first type of

learning to be discovered and studied within
the behaviorist tradition (hence the name
The major theorist in the development of
classical conditioning is Ivan Pavlov, a
Russian scientist trained in biology and
medicine (as was his German contemporary,
Sigmund Freud).
Èlassical Èonditioning Theory
Pavlov was studying the digestive system of dogs
and became intrigued with his observation that
dogs deprived of food began to salivate when one of
his assistants walked into the room.
He began to investigate this phenomena and
established the laws of classical conditioning.

Skinner renamed this type of learning

"respondent conditioning´ since in this type of
learning, one is responding to an environmental
Èlassical Èonditioning Theory

4 General model: Stimulus (S) elicits

>Response (R)
4 Èlassical conditioning starts with a reflex (R):
an innate, involuntary behavior.
4 This involuntary behavior is elicited or caused
by an antecedent environmental event.

4 For example, if air is blown into your eye,

you blink. You have no voluntary or conscious
control over whether the blink occurs or not.
Èlassical Èonditioning Theory

The specific model for classical conditioning


4 A stimulus will naturally (without learning)

elicit or bring about a reflexive response

4 Unconditioned Stimulus (US) elicits >

Unconditioned Response (UR)
Èlassical Èonditioning Theory

The specific model for classical conditioning

4 Neutral Stimulus (NS) --- does not elicit
the response of interest

4 This stimulus (sometimes called an

orienting stimulus as it elicits an
orienting response) is a neutral stimulus
since it does not elicit the Unconditioned
(or reflexive) Response.
Èlassical Èonditioning Theory

The Neutral/Orientiing Stimulus (NS) is

repeatedly paired with the
Unconditioned/Natural Stimulus (US).
Èlassical Èonditioning Theory

4 The Neutral Stimulus (NS) is transformed

into a Èonditioned Stimulus (ÈS).
4 That is, when the ÈS is presented by itself, it
elicits or causes the ÈR (which is the same
involuntary response as the UR.

4 The name changes because it is elicited

by a different stimulus.

4 This is written ÈS elicits > ÈR.

Èlassical Èonditioning Theory

4 In the area of classroom learning, classical

conditioning is seen primarily in the
conditioning of emotional behavior.

4 Things that make us happy, sad, angry,

etc. become associated with neutral
stimuli that gain our attention.
Èlassical Èonditioning Theory

4 For example, the school, classroom, teacher,

or subject matter are initially neutral stimuli
that gain attention.
4 Activities at school or in the classroom
automatically elicit emotional responses
and these activities are associated with
the neutral or orienting stimulus
4 After repeated presentations, the
previously neutral stimulus will elicit the
emotional response
Èlassical Èonditioning Theory


4 Èhild is harassed at school

4 Èhild feels bad when harassed
4 Èhild associates being harassed
and school
4 Èhild begins to feel bad when she
thinks of school
Èlassical Èonditioning Theory

In order to extinguish the associated of

feeling bad and thinking of school, the
connection between school and being
harassed must be broken.