Learning Theory

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What would you say are the most important developments that have taken place in the history of the paradigm learning theory. How have these been affected and influenced by its origins in psychological thought and its outcomes for a better understaning of learning.

-- Joanne Collinson (JoCollinson@hotmail.com), November 11, 2001


Hi Joanne, well, learning theory? You might find this one of those topics of study without tidy boundries. I don't know if this is the question a professor gave you on a final or not; if it is good luck. It might be profitable for you to look at learning theory - psychological thinking of such as being influenced to a great deal by theories from biology (neurology) and philosophy. So for your "most important developments," look to instances that address the association of - environment, behaviors, and thoughts. You might look at Freud's "Project for a Scientific Psychology" (If you don't want to read it in Freud's hand, check out R. Fancher, Psychoanalytic Psychology chapter 3. Or, look at Pavlov's work and Edward Thorndike's. If there is such a thing as a paradigm of learning theory in psychology, I think its roots are going to be found in associationism, that and the bio-mechanical take off on it anyway. Also, from reading your question, I think you are going to have to give some thought to what science is in relation to learning theory/psychological thought; it might help you if you knew how E. Mach saw science. This is all by way of saying the origins of learning theory which are in philosophy and biology and physics drove our research which in turn produced a better understanding of how we "learn." For the most important developments, look at the highlights under learning in your Psych 101 text. Then cross reference them with a history of psychology text to see their history. After that you could look at a more applied text, an organizational development text book to see how they are being applied as we understand learning. Hope this helps. Best, David

-- david clark (doclark@yorku.ca), November 11, 2001.

Psychology is just a pile of not sense theorys. The definition of psychology is a"science" that studys human behavior.Muy questions are if ther isen't a person that behave the same way than another how ther can be a science that studys that? Why are the theorys in psychology so controbertiol to each other? Why did the individuals that make up this theorys have the most miserable lifes?

-- Fernado Garcia (fernando @aol.com), January 03, 2002.

Thanks for the wise words D Clark which contributed to an excellent essay (here's hoping) and a better understanding of what made Learning theory so influential!!!!!. As for the other two responses, its very easy to knock a subject which has so many strange ideas but thats what makes it so interesting!!!!!!!. Just for the record spelling has nothing to do with academic ability as every good uni student knows all you need it enthusiasm and a good spell check!!!!!!!.

-- Joanne (JoCollinson@hotmail.com), January 17, 2002.

Hi, Fernando! I understand your concern about psychology, but before attacking it, try to answer the question: are humans really so unique, so different from each other? Some people believe they are, some don't. Psychology is an interesting subject to those who are willing to think about those questions.

I too get a little lost with the fact that the theories are conroversial, but it only makes the discipline more interesting. Controversy is all around, including in the "hardest" of sciences.

-- Rodrigo Lopes (rigo_br@yahoo.com), April 02, 2002.

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