CH 1 - What is learning? A word definition and some examples
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Publisher SummaryLearning may be defined in many ways. According to the sample definition, learning refers to a relatively permanent change in behavior potentiality that occurs as a result of reinforced practice. In this definition, changes in behavior resulting from motivational fluctuations, maturation, and various physical and physiological factors are excluded from consideration. A distinction between learning and performance must be made, and reinforcement is necessary for learning to occur. This chapter presents the following learning tasks employed by psychologists in their laboratories: classical conditioning, instrumental conditioning, discrimination learning, serial learning, paired-associate learning, free recall, concept formation, problem solving, and language acquisition. However, these are only a few of the many learning paradigms employed by psychologists. Psychologists are also uncertain about whether these tasks represent many different, distinct types of learning or merely different varieties of some common underlying process.

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