Humanistic Approaches to Positive Growth and Self-Acceptance



Whatever is good to know, is hard to learn – Greek Proverb


Learning:  Relatively permanent change in behavior that is brought about by experience

•Behaviorism:  The theory of learning that focuses solely on observable behaviors


•Classical Conditioning

•Operant Conditioning

•Social/Observational Learning

•Cognitive Factors in Learning


Ivan PavlovPavlov+s+dog+s+experiment_dd05fa_4912061

Classical Conditioning: Type of learning in which a neutral stimulus comes to elicit a

response after being paired with a stimulus that naturally brings about that response


skinner box

•Operant Conditioning: Learning through positive and negative reinforcement: A form of learning that takes place when an instance of spontaneous behavior is either reinforced by a reward or discouraged by punishment

Behavior Followed by a Consequence



Monkey See, Monkey Do

•Observing and Imitating Another’s Behavior

Social/Observational Learning

•Occurs when an observer’s behavior changes after viewing the behavior of a model


Kohler Experiment Insight/Instinct Learning

In the 1920’s, German psychologist Wolfgang Kohler exposed chimpanzees to novel learning tasks and concluded that they were able to learn by insight


Instinict/Innate Versus Learned Behavior

Instinct is innate, meaning that instinctive behaviors and responses are present and complete within the individual at birth. In other words, the individual does not have to undergo any experience to acquire such behaviors. For example, fish have an innate ability to swim, whereas most mammals must learn how to walk. It is fairly easy to identify innate behavior when an animal exhibits it at birth, but in some cases innate behavior manifests only later in life (Science Clarified, 2016).

  • Inborn, unlearned, goal directed behavior that is characteristic of an entire species
  • Human behavior is not easily explained by instincts because:

Important Human behavior is learned

Human behavior is rarely inflexible


Bernstein, D.A. & Nash, P.W. (2008). Essentials of psychology (4th ed.) Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company.

Feldman, R. (2013). Essentials of understanding psychology (11th ed.). New York, NY: McGraw-Hill.

Friedman, H.S. & Schustack, M.W. (2012), Personality: classic theories and modern research (5th ed). Boston: Pearson Allyn & Bacon.

McGraw-Hill.McGraw Hill Higher Education (2013), The McGraw Hill Companies, Inc.

Ryckman, R. M. (2013). Theories of personality (10th ed.). Mason, OH: Cengage Learning.

Science Clarified, Real Life Biology, Vol. 3 – Earth Science, Vol. 1/Instinct and Learning

25 thoughts on “Learning

  1. Read and understood , just one question can learned behaviors become instincts after you perform them over and over again ?


  2. Read and watch videos, some of them I kind got the Idea for example Albert Banura theory was ok to understand it and other felt I need more explaining especially when it comes to the different type of learning.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. The video between these two different types of behaviors really interested me because of the way that the teacher explained it. He made it seem much easier to understand through using real-life, simple examples such as a bird already having instincts and born with behaviors and also using a spotlight and how we react to it. After watching the video, I know now about how unaware I am about the instincts that I make, mostly about kinesis where I may make random noises or movements from time to time due to a certain stimulus that provokes me. I’m more interested, however, in learned behavior and how not only can we be able to learn and display that behavior later, but animals can do so as well. I want to continue learning specifically about operant conditioning and how intense animals can react to a certain stimulus through this type of conditioning.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: