Psychology Essay on learning

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The learning process is a multi-dimensional concept that covers a wide range of animal and human sub-processes and attributes that no single theory has ever captured and explained completely. While learning involves both overt and covert aspects in an individual, it is also a function of the social dimension.


Stimulus-response relationships, which have characterized the behaviourist perspective, could only explain what could be seen externally but not the measurable aspects that occur in the brain systems such as information processing, memory and perception. Earlier research and experiments in this field have found that animals could form generalizations out of the learned responses to stimuli other than those to which they had already formed a stimulus-response relationship (Littleton, Toates and Braisby, 2002). For example, Mercado, et al (2000) as cited in Littleton, Toates and Braisby, (2002) discovered that bottle-nosed dolphins who have been conditioned to distinguish pairs of shapes as either the same or different, could also apply this learned response to other objects with unfamiliar shapes. The most significant of these studies concerning the cognitive perspective, however, had been those dealing with the aspect of category learning. This type of learning suggests that people form their own schema or categories of things characterized by perceived relationships so that whatever information is received can be organized under these categories. ...
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