Observation of learning


Learning is an ability that is essential to all living things in other for them to progress and evolve. Not only human beings but animals as well have the ability to absorb data that is presented to them through their surroundings and then it is interpreted in different ways, shapes and forms. We will be observing different form of learning and how it helps us to grow and form our own dependencies. We will observe operant conditioning, social learning, and classical conditioning, through familiar scenarios.

You want to get your son to do his homework, so you walk into his room nicely and you see him playing video games and you ask him to do his homework and he says ok, so you leave and then after a couple hours you go back to check up on his homework and then he says he didn’t start on it yet so you take away his video game console and then you told him if he finished his homework efficiently not only he gets back his game but he can stay up later.  So by the parent taking away the video game is an example of negative reinforcement because that parent wanted to be obeyed the first time but then that parent added a reward if it was done so this is an example of positive reinforcement . Now the child knows to do his homework not only because his game will be taken away but he can be rewarded for his job. Operant conditioning which is a method used through behavior, punishment, rewards and consequences. This scenario can be used as an exemplification for operant conditioning.

One form of learning that we observed that is most effective is social learning. Social learning is a cognitive process that takes place in a social context and can occur purely throug observation or direct instruction, even in the absence of motor reproduction or direct reinforcement. We human’s are what can be called political creatures which means we are very dependent on one another. From birth are parents’ holds our hand in order for us to maintain our balance till we can do that ourselves. Parents know when the child no longer needs their hand to be held when the child pulls their hands away from them. Philippe experiences this with his nephew. He would hold on to his nephew hand just as when he started to walk but as time went by his nephew refused to have his hands hold when trying to walk. This observation taught us that kids are very much dependent on their guardians, but at the same time they’re learning to be independent through experiences. Behavior like so repeats itself as a child gets older. They go from wanting to hold your hand while crossing the streets to “mom I’m too big for you to be holding my hand.”. This statement is proof that a child has absorb information bestowed upon them from their guardian(s).

Another example social learning is, when Kiara was making an observation of a child swimming with her mother, but what kiara notice was that The child was struggling a little. You can tell by the expression on the little girls face that she was filled with determination not to give up. The mother offered assistance by the child refused as she wanted to learn on her own. So the mother went off to swim on her own.. The mother didn’t notice that the child stopped swimming to watch her swim. As she watched her she stayed in place and mimic the body motion of her mother. After some time has passed the child prodded the mother to watch her progress, in which she agreed. There was a noticeable difference in the child’s form so much so that even Kiara noticed, but was solidified when the mother said “ Wow you’re doing good, keep going!”. The amount of pride the mom had on her face could not be hidden, and asked the little girl how did she get so good so fast? The answer she received was “ I did it by watching you”.

Classical conditioning is a learning process that would occur through environmental stimulus an naturally accruing stimulus. Classical conditioning involves placing a signal before the actual natural reflex occurs. Kiara gives us a simple a example “ I would pick up a bag of cat food and th and shake it every time I feed my cat. I am teaching my cat a signal that every time she hears th bag of food being shook, she will be fed. My cat will build a natural reflex because of this ritual. The reflex is to respond to the signal of the food. The signal was the shaking the bag of cat food . The natural reflex was when the cat responded to the food.”.


In conclusion learning has become vital for our survival, and has also become a almost transparent act that we do everyday. There are different forms of learning like Operant conditioning, Social learning, and classical conditioning. Mostly these types of learning happen beyond our cognitive functions.

Education is what survives when what has learned been forgotten

Author.B F Skinner “ Education in 1984” New scientist 21 May 64

This digresses to a perverse reality, that the only time something is relevant in our minds is when we must learn it.




Thinking psychologically

Observation on learning

By:philippe paul, kiara wright, shawn villeta, Justin Casiano

2 thoughts on “Observation of learning

  1. I am not clear from your report how you divided things up so I am not sure who contributed what and whether to award bonus points. Please clarify that in an email to me.

    You start with an introduction, always a good idea. In the second paragraph you then shift to looking at how particular kinds of learning can operate in specific situations. I am not clear from how this paragraph is written whether you are simply illustrating the way that operant conditioning works or documenting a specific observation one of you made. That said, taking away video games until the child learns something is a negative punishment, not a negative reinforcement.

    In the third paragraph Paul provides an example of his nephew learning something but it isn’t clear what it is that has been learned. What, precisely, is it that the nephew has learned that makes him loath to hold hands now? Is he proud of his improved motor skills; capable of monitoring traffic effectively himself now; or has he learned that other kids will mock him if he holds hands to cross the street?

    The fourth paragraph documents a nice piece of social learning by imitation.

    The fifth paragraph documents a nice piece of classical conditioning.

    In sum, you have done the task assigned. You need to document better who did what and provide references for the examples you provide. I’ll give you all 42/50.

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