Mon, Dec

Learning Principles of Learning Advantages of Classical Learning



  • Learning is any relatively permanent change in behavior, capability or attitude acquired through experience.
  • We can learn from.
  • Stimuli (salivating at the sight of food, lightening during a thunderstorm).
  • Consequences of our behavior (punishment, discouragement, encouragement).
  • Watching others (a person in foreign country trying to learn how to eat).
  • Not all changes in behavior are the result of learning.
  • For example if a player is playing differently due to injury or fatigue we would not refer to that change as learning.
  • For instance if a weight lifter is unable to lift a specific heavy load and after sometime he is able to lift the load by increasing his strength in the meanwhile this would be learned as maturational change not learning because it has occurred because of increase in strength.
  • The change in behavior is not always immediately obvious for example a person drives very fast normally, he reads a book / article about the hazards of fast driving the change in his behavior not to drive too fast the next time will not be evident in him until he is practically driving a car on normal speed.
  • Learning can be unintentional and even undesirable.
  • For example if a person begins to hate chicken sandwich because he gets sick after eating one, learning has occurred, through unintentional and undesirable, but it’s still learning.
  • Principles of Learning:

    Classical Conditioning: Learning by association:

    • A type of learning in which a neutron stimulus produces a response after being paired with the stimulus that naturally brings about that response.
    • For example in the Pavlov’s experiment he would ring a bell and just a few seconds later presented the dog with meat.
    • This pairing of stimuli occurred repeatedly. At first the dog would salivate only to meat but soon if began to salivate at the sound of the bell.
    • Even when Pavlov stopped presenting the meat, dog would salivate to the neutral stimulus (sound of the bell).
    • The dog had been clinically conditioned to salivate to the bell.

    Terminology Of CC:

    1. Unconditioned Stimulus: The stimulus that produces the response without any learning (naturally) e.g food for salivation.
    2. Unconditioned Response: unlearned, inborn, natural reaction to the unconditioned stimulus e.g. salivation when food is presented.
    3. Conditioned Stimulus: the neutral stimulus that before conditioning does not naturally brings a response e.g. the ringing of bell in Pavlov studies.
    4. Conditioned Response: when a response is solicited by the conditional, stimulus it is referred to as the conditioned response e.g. the ringing of bell producing salivation without food being presented.

    Definition of Classical Conditioning:

    • A form of learning in which conditioned stimulus (CS) elicits a conditioned response (CR) as a result of the pairing and association of the conditioned stimulus (CS) with the unconditioned stimulus (UCS) without association, only the UCS will have produces the UCR.
    • For example meat was the UCS.
    • Bell was the CS.
    • Salivation on presentation of food was UCR.
    • Salivation of dog on just the ring of bell was CR.
    • Another example can be of a child weeping on being injected through a needle after the first time a mere sight of the needle will produce the weeping and crying of the child.
    • Another example can be of an emergency siren.

    Classical Conditioning: a form of learning:

    • Not because a “new” behavior has been acquired but because behavior is “changed”.
    • Learning through association in our lives / applications.
    • If one frequently visited the seashore with a fixed visiting the seashore alone may trigger the memories of that.
    • The key phrase in classical conditioning is the “association” of the two stimuli.
    • The more frequently the UCS and the CS are associated, the more often will the CS elicit the response of the Conditioning CR.
    • For effective conditioning the time internal between the UCS and CS should be between half a second to several seconds, depending on what kind of response is being conditioned.
    • Emotional Responses | Negative emotions | Fear | Memory

      • Emotional response of fear of mice, spiders or cockroaches which are typically harmless.
      • Fear of heights, conditioned stimulus (CS) in this case is heights such as a balcony on top floor of a high rise building. A traumatizing event in the person life (UCS) that is almost falling down from a height is associated with fear of height (CR) CS + UCS= CR.
      • Memory related classical conditioning is also observed when a person frequently visits a place such as seaside with a very close friend and when the person visits that seaside or may be any sea side, it will trigger the memory of his dear friend.
      • When a person is ill and taken to hospital, he develops negative feeling for everything associated closely with the hospital for example the smell of hospital (usually phenyl is used as a cleansing chemicals in hospitals.) so whenever the person smells phenyl, it triggers the negative memory of being sick.
      • Emotional response of happiness and relation, reaching home after a long time journey almost every person has quite an attachment of his/her house because of the frequent feeling of security, relaxation, privacy and being comfortable.
      • Advertising pairing of popular music with a product to increase the sale of the product, After a while even just that music will be enough for people to identify the product eg walls ice-cream music children runs after listening to the music to buy ice-cream.
      • Humans sometimes find that they have become classically conditioned to be sexually accused by non-sexual objects such as leather, silk, lotions etc.
      • Treatment of anxiety and phobias in drug treatment, patients are advised to visit friends or places when the person used to do drugs.

      Advantages of Classical Learning:

      Survival Benefits:

      If some food makes an organism ill, it needs to avoid eating the same food in the future to avoid being sick.

      Training Of Pets / Animals:

      Animals are classically conditioned to respond by barking to any suspicious or strange person to awake the owner.

      A mechanical device “clicker” is used to make a sound “ click” which is paired with the taste of food, eventually the sound of clicker will produce the same response that the taste of food world.

      Treatment Of Phobias:

      A pleasant characteristic is paired with the thing phenomena that the person is experiencing phobia with. For example in a famous experiment Jones brought a rabbit (CS) to a child into the same room but far away from the child while he was eating cookies and milk snack (CS-good feeling).

      Jones did this each day by pairing good food with the rabbit and bringing the rabbit closer to the child each day. Until there was no fear to the rabbit and it was put into the child’s lap.

      Positive Classroom Environment:

      Students can be classically conditioned to overcome anxiety and fear by pairing anxiety provoking situation such as performing in front of a group with pleasure surroundings to help the students learn calmness.

      Related Articles

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    • Lobes of the Cerebral Cortex Hemispheres of the Cerebral Cortex
    • Psychology | Scope of psychology | Scope of Psychology in Education
    • Observational Learning Modeling | Theories of Learning | Humanistic Perspective of Learning