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Learning and Cognition

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Learning and Cognition
Understanding the learning process and the role behavior plays is critical to comprehending human behavior. There are two types of learning, instrumental and classical conditioning. The relationship between learning and cognition is interdependent.
Learning is defined by Merriam-Webster as knowledge or skill acquired by instruction, study, or by being taught (An Encyclopedia Britannica Company, 2012). Psychologists view learning as changes in behavior. The changes are observable, somewhat permanent, do not always happen right away, are a result of experience or practice, and must be enforced.
Scientists have not found a way to observe and measure learning through neurological processes. Therefore, behavior plays a unique role in the learning process. Behaviors are easily observed, measured, and tracked. By doing so, theorists are able to draw conclusions, or make inferences, about the processes believed to be the catalyst to behavioral changes (Olson & Hergenhahn, 2009). B.F. Skinner had a different theory regarding learning and behavior. Skinner and his followers believed changes in behavior equates to learning.
Theorists believe learning is the outcome of experiences or practices that result in changes in behavior. For example, a cat is fed every day after the owner returns home from work. Over time, the cat learns when the car pulls in to the garage, the owner is home and it will soon be fed. Thus the cat runs to greet the owner at the door. The cat’s behavior changes after experiencing this for a period of time to running directly to the food dish.
The two types of learning are instrumental and classical conditioning. Conditioning refers to the practices, procedures, or actions that modify behavior. Classical conditioning is most often referred to by describing Ivan Pavlov’s studies of dogs and the physical reaction…...

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