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Behavioral Learning Theory Reflection
Before learning about this theory I did not know about all these key words that are
affiliated with this one theory. Behaviorism is a learning theory that only focuses on objectively
visible behaviors and discounts any independent activities of the mind. Behavior theorists define
learning as nothing more than the achievement of new behavior based on environmental
conditions. This theory is more concerned with the response generated. Input is stimulus and
output is response that produces behavioral changes. This theory was pioneered by Pavlov,
Edward Lee and Skinner. They describe about the behaviorism and the points specifically for
learning activities are stimulus and responses.
There are two different types of conditioning, each compliant a different behavioral
pattern which are Classic conditioning and behavioral or operant conditioning. Classic
conditioning occurs when a natural reflex responds to a stimulus. We are naturally programmed
so that a certain stimulus will produce a specific response. One of the more common examples of
classical conditioning in the educational environment is in situations where students exhibit
illogical fears and concerns like fear of failure, fear of public speaking and general school
Behavioral or operant conditioning occurs when a response to a stimulus is reinforced.
Basically, operant conditioning is a simple feedback system. If a reward or reinforcement
follows the response to a stimulus, then the response becomes more likely in the future. Leading
behaviorist B.F. Skinner used reinforcement techniques to teach pigeons to dance and bowl a ball
in a mini-alley.
This theory is fairly simple to understand because it relies only on observable behavior
and describes several universal laws of behavior. Its positive and negative reinforcement
techniques can be very effective. Behaviorism is often used by teachers who reward or punish
student behaviors.