Learning and Learning Theories


1. Learning is an important psychological process that determines individual behaviour.

2. It is the result of past experience or practice. Past experience may be in the form of study, experience, or practice.

3. Learning brings changes in the existing pattern of behaviour. It leads to improvement or deterioration in behaviour. Bad habits prejudice, hostility, etc., can also be learned.

4. It is a conscious and deliberate (not automatic) process.

5. It needs reinforcement (any aspect that can strengthen learned things). If learned skills, knowledge, etc., are not reinforced, learned aspects tend to extinguish.

6. Behavioural change resulting from learning is relatively permanent. A temporary change due to any other reasons cannot be called learning.

7. Behavioural change must be based on expertise plus practice. Behavioural change due to physical maturation is not learning.

8. Learning is an input to perception, personality, motivation and attitudes.

Difference between learning and Maturation

The physical maturation of a person does not depict learning as it is a natural phenomenon. According to Boring, ‘maturity is a primary development which should exist before the learned action or behavior. The development of physical abilities is called maturation. Changes in a person’s behavior may be due to physical and mental maturation. These changes are natural with age. These changes are different from the changes due to learning which are as follows:

Maturation Learning
Behavioural changes due to maturation are natural. For learning a person has to make efforts.
Generally maturation takes place upto the age of 25 years. Person can go learning throughout life.
Changes in behavior due to maturation are racial. These changes are only in the person who learns.
No effect of favourable or unfavourable conditions Takes place only in favourable conditions.
No motivation is required for developing the change. Motivation helps in learning changes.
No repetition of change required as it is natural. Change should be repeated for permanency.

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