Learning and Cognition Paper

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Learning and Cognition Paper
Christina Parker
PSY 390
February 14, 2011
Chelsea Fry

Learning and Cognition Paper
Learning is a very well-known topic in psychology today. Over the years there have been many definitions for what learning is. Many of these definitions are disputed and replaced with newer up-to-date definitions. The definition that most psychologists like to use is Kimble 's; "a relatively permanent change in behavioral potentiality that occurs as a result of reinforced practice" (Olson & Hergenhahn, 2009, p. 1). This paper will focus on what role behavior plays in learning, it will also take a look at two different types of learning, and last this paper will focus on the relationship between learning and cognition.
Definition of Learning
Learning can be defined in different ways by different people. One definition is to gain knowledge through experience (Olson & Hergenhahn, 2009). The definition that most psychologists like to use is Kimble 's; "a relatively permanent change in behavioral potentiality that occurs as a result of reinforced practice" (Olson & Hergenhahn, 2009, p. 1). The behavioral change does not have to actually occur immediately for learning to have occurred, there just has to be potential for a behavioral change. Sometimes as we research something (cooking) that interests us we learn more about it but until we have had the chance to actually try what we learned a behavioral change has not occurred, but there is the potential.
Role of Behavior in Learning
Behavior is very important in learning because theorists over the ages have come to the conclusion that any results of learning require observable behavior changes. Learning is relatively permanent. The reason that learning is relatively permanent is that what we have learned will stay with us until we learn something new or we forget what we previously learned. Learning being permanent was added to the definition in order it rule out that the behavioral



References: "Cognition." International Encyclopedia of the Social Sciences. Ed. William Darity, Jr. 2nd ed. Vol. 1. Detroit: Macmillan Reference USA, 2008. 596-599. Gale Virtual Reference Library. Web. 24 Sept. 2010. Cherry, K. (2010). Psychology. The New York Times. Retrieved from http://psychology.about.com.od/cognitivepsychology/f/cogpsych.htm Olson, M. H., & Hergenhahn, B. R. (2009). An Introduction to Theories of Learning 8th Edition. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Prentice Hall. Willingham, D. T. (2007). Cognition The Thinking Animal, 3rd ed. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Prentice Hall.

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