3. classical experiment of Ivan P. Pavlov. This

3. Cognitive learning.

We would discuss each of these briefly.

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1. Classical Conditioning:

Classical con­ditioning gets its name from the fact that it is a kind of learning situation that existed in the early classical experiment of Ivan P. Pavlov. This type of conditioning is also called as respondent or pavlovian conditioning.

In classical conditioning two stimuli are pre­sented to the learner. One of the stimulus is called as the Conditioned Stimulus (C.S). It is also known as a neutral stimulus because except for an alerting, or attentional, response the first few times it is presented, it does not evoke a specific response. Almost any stimulus which is detectible can serve as a C.S.

The other stimulus is known as the Unconditioned Stimulus (U.S.). This stimu­lus consistently evokes a response or is reliably followed by one. The response that is generated by the unconditioned stimulus is known as the Unconditioned Response (U.R.

). The two stimuli, i.e.

, the C.S. and the U.S. paired in classical conditioning so that the conditioned stimulus comes a short lime, say from second in several seconds, before the unconditioned stimulus is presented. After the stimuli have been paired a number of times (each pairing is called a trial), presentation of the original neural conditioned stimulus evokes a response. This response is what is learned in classical conditioning and is called as the Conditioned Response (C.


2. Operant Conditioning:

Operant Conditioning is also called instru­mental conditioning. Pioneering work on operant conditioning was carried out by B. F.

Skinner and E. L. Thorndike. Skinner used the term operant conditioning and Thorndike called it instrumental conditioning. Operant conditioning is so called because the organism has to operate upon the environment to get a reward. It is also known as instrumental conditioning because the individual’s response is instrumental in obtaining reinforce­ment.

Reinforcement is an important concept in operant conditioning. In order to get reinforce­ment the subject must do something. Without that, his behaviour would not be rewarded. In natural course, the learner makes a specific response.

When the desired specific response occurs, it is reinforced, other responses are not reinforced. When reinforcement occurs on a number of occasions, the association between the response and reward is strengthened and we say that conditioning has taken place.

3. Cognitive Learning:

Cognitive Learning is one type of learning which originated in pioneering works of Gestalt Psychologists. This type of learning makes use of perception and the way the information is proc­essed through sense experience. The word cognitive is derived from the word cognition.

Cognition refers to the processing of the information about the environment that is re­ceived through the senses. Cognitive learning can be defined as a change in the way the information is processed as a result of experience a person or animal has had. Much of our learning is cognitive in nature.

Cognitive learning may take various forms some of which include: (a) Cognitive maps. (b) Latent learning. (c) Insight learning. (d) Imitation.


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