Simple Stimulus Learning

Topics: Learning, Education, Learning theory Pages: 5 (1546 words) Published: October 29, 2011
Simple Stimulus Learning

Simple Stimulus Learning

Throughout time learning has been described as the gaining of information. When one learns, they are responding to stimuli that have triggered their ability to acknowledge what is going on around them. An operational definition of stimulus can be something or someone that initiated or has been viewed as starting a response. In other words “much of our behavior consists of learned responses to simple signals” (Northern College, 2003). There are various forms of simple stimulus learning that humans and animals can possess. The following paper will describe what habituation is, what factors that can affect perceptual learning, the effects of stimulus exposure, and stimulus learning related to real life situations.

Explaining Habituation

Terry (2009) defines habituation as “the decrease in orienting (and other) reactions to a stimulus that is repeatedly repeated (p. 27). This meaning that overtime new stimuli will become less responsive the more the stimuli are shown and familiarize with. In psychology, the term habituation can be used in two similar ways. The first way is to repetitively show a stimulus and the second way will be the response decrease and the effect it has. This particular learning will show how a subject’s response will gradually dwindle when shown something over and over. For example, when a child is given new toys at Christmas, they are all over the place exploring and playing with the toys. It seems as though nothing can break them away from the excitement and fun that they are having with the new toys. This exploration process is called orienting. It has also been noticed that the old or familiar toys are being overlooked. The ignoring of toys by the child is the method of habituation.

Habituation is common amongst all humans or animals regardless of the realization or not. Epstein, Temple, Roemmich, and Bouton (2009) completed a study to see how habituation relates to the amount of food intake. “This research is in its infancy and may help to understand some aspects of eating and be able to provide insight into factors responsible for obesity and eating disorders” (Epstein et al., 2009, p. 404). Studies like the one above are valuable to the researchers and the public when it comes to finding new information and safety for the community.

Analyze Factors that Affect Perceptual Learning

Society as a whole learns differently from one another. This meaning that the way that one individual acquires knowledge may be completely different from the way that his or her friend learns. When studying and absorbing information there are various learning styles that can be used in order for it to stick in one’s memory. The perceptual learning styles are: auditory (learning through hearing), visual (learning through seeing), haptic (learning through touch), kinesthetic (learning through body movement), olfactory (learning through smell), and print mode (learning through printed word). Although each specific learning style has its own unique way of acquiring knowledge, an individual can fall under more than one category. For instance, the author finds that visual, auditory, and print mode overall works best for them depending on the situation.

In the education setting, learning styles play a major role in instruction. “Recently, a growing emphasis on differentiated instruction may have furthered increased teachers’ tendency to look at learning styles as an instructionally relevant variable when individualizing instruction in increasingly heterogeneous classrooms” (Landrum & McDuffie, 2010, p. 6). As being a teacher the author can thoroughly relate to this. It is important for teachers and instructors to realize and take this information in consideration. Individualization is vital to see how you can improve a student’s learning. If a student is not fully grasping a concept or needs some improvement in a specific...
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