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Isabel Garcia
EDTC 3320
March 11, 2012
Over the years , people change their style of
learning. However, the two most major
psychological perspectives that are commonly
known when it comes to learning are
Behaviorism and Cognitivism. These two
perspectives have provided a huge role on
how people learn, not only in the 20th century
but now in the 21th century as well.
Behaviorism is a theory of learning that is based on the
assumptions of the external behavior. It was the most dominate
theory is history for several years. Psychology, behavior was the
only way of study about people’s learning styles or approaches. In
other words, the way you acted or behaved would be the way you
learned. There were two models used for observations of behavior,
Classical Conditioning and Operant Conditioning. The Classical
Conditioning was developed by a Russian scientist Ivan Pavlov. It
was the first type of learning where an individual could respond to
a learning motivation.
The Operant Condition dealt with
reinforces. If there was some kind of reward or incentive the
individual would be more successful in the learning than no reward
at all.
Cognitivism is the opposite of Behaviorism. Several years after the
Behaviorism perspective, the Cognitivism theory became the
dominate prototype around the 1960”s. Cognitivism was said to focus
on the inner mental activities, for it was crucial to understand how
people learn. Cognitivism deals with the mental process of thinking,
memory, knowing, and problem solving. Cognitivism is also based on
the reflection process behind behavior. The transformations in
behavior are examined with the only thought of what’s really going
on inside an individual's mind. Cognitivists have usually used the
metaphor of a computer to describe our minds, being that our minds
are highly complex. Information goes in and we process it and make
sure we understand it.
Impact of Behaviorism
Behaviorism has its impact on learning. Being that
people have different types of learning, there are
positive and negative ways for that. For example, the
classical conditioning model (Pavlov, 1927) and operant
conditioning (Skinner, 1978).
Classical Conditioning Model: This model worked
with two motivations that were presented in close
sequence repeatedly, until the response given to one
becomes associated with the other.
Operant Conditioning: This conditioning works with
rewards. If given rewards to a person for their learning,
their learning will have a better impact than with no
The Operant Conditioning impacts teaching positively. For
example, when teaching a material/subject your goal is the
get the information through and have it learned. You have to
be positive in all aspects and reinforce those learners that are
having difficulty with maybe rewards in order to keep them
interested in the learning. Over all the idea is that behaviors
that are positively reinforced with tend to continue compare
to those that are negative will eventually end.
Classical Conditioning Model also impacts teaching in a
different point of view. There are so many distinctive
activities that can be incorporated in the lessons. This
conditioning is an impulsive learning in which an incentive
is used to obtain a response that was originally set by another
motivation .
Impact of Cognitivism
Cognitivism also has a positive impact on learning.
There are my different variables that persuade and at the
same time contribute to learning for a beneficial
•Being that this presumption can be applied to all
learning styles. Students have different types of learning
and as well as their developmental levels.
•Therefore, it is crucial to know the learner styles of
every individual before assigning any material because
knowledge is learning.
•The best effect would be to create a learning setting
that is positive and that would encourage all types of
learners to do their best and make learning interesting.
By doing so the learners will have a better
understanding and will be able to obtain a mental
picture if needed.
Evaluation for Behaviorism
At Texas State Technical College (TSTC), Behaviorism is
not an option. Being that the Operant conditioning is not
used at all. There is no reward from the instructor for doing
what you are suppose to do. The only reward there is would
be your grade. You are expected to produced what you have
learned and gained without any kinds of incentive.
However, there are other ways for Operant Conditioning.
For example by attending class when scheduled, (seeing
that as a behavior)will let the instructor know that you are
willing to gain and access the knowledge given to you.
Evaluation for Cognitivism
Cognitivism is more applicable at TSTC. Cognitivism is
probably the main theory used at TSTC and even
everywhere else. It deals with thinking, problem solving,
and memorizing. Once the instructor lectures about the
lesson for the day you are in charge of memorizing the
information. There might even be some problem solving
that will be needed. The way people think is very
important being that it the way they understand
something. While at TSTC, the instructors give the
material and you are to retain the information/knowledge
for further use.
Conditioning Model
Behaviorism and Cognitivism are both observed as
the nature of knowledge. The main aspect still
remains the same for both, being that the
communication of knowledge is the most efficient
and effective ever. Without one the other would have
not existed. Scientists will still continue to explore
different options of how individuals learn.
Brown, A., & Green, T. (2006). The essentials of instructional design. (pp. 3651). Upper Saddle River: Pearson Education, Inc.
Cherry, K. (2012). What is behaviorism?. Retrieved from
Learning Theories Knowledgebase (2012, March). Behaviorism at Retrieved March 12th, 2012 from
Learning Theories Knowledgebase (2012, March). Cognitivism at Retrieved March 12th, 2012 from