Psychology: Mind and Instrumental Conditioning Essay

Submitted By AddeySanchez
Words: 573
Pages: 3

Learning and Cognition

PSY/390
February 20, 2013

Learning and Cognition

From the first day that one is born into the world, something amazing happens. One begins to learn. An individual is born with certain instincts that help aid in survival, but from day one the human mind is learning. Cognition which is the mental action or process of acquiring knowledge, and understanding through thought and experience is also used from day one. They both go hand in hand. Learning is often defined as a change in behavior, which is demonstrated by people implementing knowledge skills or practices derived from education. Learning is the acquisition of knowledge or skills through experience, practice or study. Behavior plays a large role in learning. Learning is changed by behavior. For example an individual must be taught something, and a certain behavior must be changed in order for learning to occur. The change that occurs in some way must be permanent for the behavior to stay with the individual. Learning is more of a generalization of what the mind is capable of retaining and memorizing to do in the future. There are many types of learning. Two main types of learning are instrumental and classical conditioning. Classical conditioning summarized is a stimulus used in order to condition the brain into remembering to do something. For example food can cause an automatic response in an individual. An example of an experiment would be ringing a bell every time a cup of juice is brought out. After a few weeks of doing thing the bell is rung and no juice is brought out. The mouth will automatically salivate. Another way of learning is instrumental conditioning. This is the relationship between reinforcement and behavior. B.F skinner had many experiments to back up this learning style. In one of the experiments called the skinner box, he would let a rat lose to explore and when the rat would press the lever food pellets were released. Soon the rat would associate the lever with food. Another example to instrumental conditioning would be toilet training a child. Every time the child would go to the toilet and urinate the mother would reward the child with a cookie, after a few time the child…