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Identify the historical and cultural factors that contribute to the development of the learning perspective

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Learning Perspective Essay Identify the historical and cultural factors that contribute to the development of the learning perspective. To what extent is the learning perspective relevant today? The study of how humans learn is a dominant component of the learning perspective. The study of behaviour in this perspective and is also commonly known as the Behaviouristic Approach, as they believe that behaviour is the only valid data in psychology. Behaviourism developed simultaneously in the United States and Russia in relation to many factors. Traditional Behaviourists believed that all organisms learn in the same way, and could be explained by the processes of classical and operant conditioning. Learning can be defined as a relatively permanent change in behaviour and/or knowledge that occurs as a result of practice and/or experience in the environment. Psychologists working within this perspective have investigated he ways in which behaviour changes, usually using laboratory experiments, and often-using non-human animals. The Learning perspective developed simultaneously in the United States and Russia with American Theorists John Watson, Albert Bandura and Russian physiologist Ivan Pavlov. The way in which behaviour can be observed is seen as being objectively or unbiased, and this is the opposite to the theory of introspection. The unreliability of the way in which subjective data is obtained in introspection is one of the main criticisms that lead to the rise of behaviourism. In introspection the data collected in said to be subjective and therefore biased in the sense that it comes from ones own mind. ...read more.


Marks et al (1981) say that this kind of therapy works because eventually some stimulus exhaustion takes place, as you cannot scream forever and then the conditioned fear response extinguishes. The technique most similar to classical conditioning is called Aversion Therapy, and is most relevant to today's treatment of alcoholism, smoking or overeating. The technique aims to remove undesirable responses to certain stimuli by associating them with aversive stimuli, in the hope that the undesirable responses will be avoided in the future. Aversion therapy has been used to treat alcoholism, for example the person is given alcohol with a nausea-inducing drug unsuspectingly, and should then feel sick. The person associates drinking with their intestinal distress and results found that two out of three people did not have any alcohol a year later. Although it has a high success rate, ethical considerations of deliberating causing discomfort to another person through deception must be taken into account. The limitation of this type of therapy is its difficulty to generalise to other situations from where the learning took place. Operant conditioning involves learning through consequences of behavioural responses. The principles operant conditioning were first investigated by Thorndike, and then thoroughly developed by behaviourist Skinner. Skinner applied them to explain how many aspects of human behaviour are acquired. Thorndike studied the way cats would learn to escape from his puzzle box by trial and error. ...read more.


They were all managers or trainee mangers. The training conducted related to working in Japan. Harrison pre-tested participants for their existing knowledge of Japan and found no significant difference between groups on their knowledge nor did other variables such as age, gender, education, affect their test results. Harrison used two approaches in the groups and even combined both. The two approaches were the cognitive and experimental. The cognitive dealt with knowledge gained through learning factual information about the country and culture. The experimental approach's knowledge was gained through experiencing the behaviour appropriate and acceptable in the culture. It was found that in regard to the participants' behaviour, those who were given combined training scored significantly higher than all other groups. It is seen that preparing behaviour for a new culture with cross-cultural training is beneficial for employees relocated overseas. The learning perspective developed in first part of they 20th century with many factors affecting its rise such as Pavlov, Watson and the criticism of introspection. With each component of the learning perspective it is seen that it is beneficial to people today. Each has helped many people, being those with phobias or alcohol problems in relation to classical conditioning. Or Operant conditioning having its relevance in practical animal uses and token economies, and lastly observation learning and the social learning theory which is beneficial for those relocating to another culture to observe behaviour that would be considered acceptable. The learning perspective is still very much relevant in today's world. Word Count: 2, 488 1 Hill, 2001, A Level Psychology ?? ?? ?? ?? ...read more.

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