Associative Learning Theory

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What is learning?
Learning is formally defined as ‘relatively permanent change in behavior due to experience’ (Grieve, et al. 2005). This implies that when there is a change in behavior, we can see learning has taken place. In order for learning to take place, the behavior has to be relatively permanent and the result of an experience (Grieve, et al. 2005). Behavior may change temporarily due to illness, tiredness or decreased motivation but it is not a result of learning although it does show that there are factors that can affect behavior (Grieve, et al. 2005).

Behavior Modification
Associative learning
Associative learning is a learning principle that states that ideas and experiences reinforce each other and can be mentally linked
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2005. There are two kinds of punishment: Positive punishment, sometimes referred to as punishment by application, presents an unfavorable event or outcome in order to weaken the response it follows (Grieve, et al. 2005. Negative punishment, also known as punishment by removal, occurs when a favorable event or outcome is removed after a behavior occurs (Grieve, et al. 2005). In both of these cases of punishment, the behavior decreases. Skinner also discovered that when and how often behaviors were reinforced played a role in the speed and strength of attainment (Grieve, et al.…show more content…
2005). The acquisition of perceptual motor skills occurs in three phases: the cognitive stage, which focuses on understanding what is involved in the task; the associative stage, which focuses on practice; and the autonomous stage, which focuses on improvement of speed and accuracy (Grieve, et al. 2005).
Intellectual skills
Intellectual skills are learned (Grieve, et al. 2005). We learn by associating one thing with another, or by discriminating between different things (Grieve, et al. 2005). We form concepts to represent things and we learn rules for using the concepts to think and reason (Grieve, et al. 2005).
Social Learning
Social learning refers to learning through interacting with other people. It also shows that not all learning is formal (university etc) but also happens informally in everyday life (Grieve, et al. 2005). Many parents and teachers use operant social learning to encourage good behavior in children. We learn socially acceptable or desirable behavior through being rewarded and getting punished for bad behavior (Grieve, et al. 2005). Another way that social learning occurs is through observation, which is, imitating or watching the behaviors of other and observing the consequences of it. There are four components of observational learning which are attention, retention or memory, initiation or reproduction and motivation (Grieve, et al.
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