PSY 620 Learning Cognition Handbook

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PSY620 Learning & Cognition Handbook

Ashford University

PSY 620 Learning and Cognition


Learning and Cognotion


PSY 620 Learning and Cognition

Learning and cognition Handbook

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Table of Contents

Preface PAGEREF _Toc388364021 h 1

Introduction to Construct Chosen PAGEREF _Toc388364022 h 2

Construct Chosen PAGEREF _Toc388364023 h 3

Comprehension PAGEREF _Toc388364024 h 3

Problem Solving PAGEREF _Toc388364025 h 5

Memory Development/Retention PAGEREF _Toc388364026 h 6

Life Long Learning PAGEREF _Toc388364027 h 7

Domains and Domain Learning PAGEREF _Toc388364028 h 9

Affective Outcomes of Emotion PAGEREF _Toc388364030 h 11

Effects of Demographic Differences PAGEREF _Toc388364031 h 13

Conclusion PAGEREF _Toc388364032 h 15

References PAGEREF _Toc388364033 h 16

Appendix (optional) PAGEREF _Toc388364034 h 17



He primary goal is to integrate concept from discipline of learning and cognitive psychology. The purpose is to share helpful strategies, and apply what I have learned from the course to six major topics in the field. At the same time the handbook incorporates how the six major topics of learning and cognition impact related subtopics. Furthermore the handbook includes a consideration of how the topics and subtopics are directly connected to evaluations and interventions among various fields in psychology. It is important to indicate that thought the handbook, all the information gathered and presented is carefully and consistently looking to adhere to the standards of learning and cognotion psychology.

Introduction to Construct Chosen


T the beginning of ours life and until ones death until that time approaches we as humans spend a huge amount of time learning newthing, however just because we learn something that does not mean that the learning stops there, we find ways to build upon what we have just learned and even the things we have learned in the past.In looking at all the other forms of life here on earth we as humansbeing possess a higher learning capacity because they actually study the diverse means of learning, refining and classifying the material through learning cognition discipline. In this paper it hightlights some categories that have built some of the most current works in learning and cognition. This paper is just not focusing on the six categories but also addressing ethical concerns.

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How is it connected to your future goals: This topic id connected to my future goals indicates the importance of understanding the topics meaning and terms when it comes to psychology. My goal is to learn all I can about psychology but the learning does not stop there, I am also looking into building upon what I have learned. Just because I learn a concept or term that does not mean that the learning is over, there are always more ways to the same things many different ways, I feel that is what makes us as humans unique is that we are able ti build upon what we have just learned.

Chosen Construct

{Traditional learning theories: Operant and Classical Conditioning}


he first topic that I would like to Introduce is Operant and classical conditioning. To my understanding Operant conditioning is a learning method that was developed by B.F. Skinner Operant conditioning is a sign of learning that occurs through reward or punishment for the kind of behavior that showed, in operant conditioning is association is made between a behavior and consequence for that behavior. in the article, A Problem-Solving Approach to Teaching Operant Conditioning. It explains the importance of understanding the terms used in psychology. According to the article it states,” Prior classroom observation revealed that most students defined positive reinforcement as the reward and equated negative reinforcement and punishment. Students also labeled positive reinforcement as rewarding good behavior and negative reinforcement as punishing bad behavior” (Carolyn Shields. P.114). what the article was addressing was that to many students were confusing the terms with their own examples the biggest struggle for graduate students in understanding the terms and how those terms could be applied to real life situations in the article it indicated that one of the theories that have been difficult to teach is B.F skinner operations and conditioning, “ One theory that is especially challenging to teach is B. F. Skinner’s operant conditioning, in part because students have common-sense conceptions of reinforcement and punishment. DeBell and Harless (1992) reported that advanced undergraduates identified significantly more misconceptions as facts in true-false statements than other educated groups (beginning graduate students, advanced graduate students, and faculty)” (Carolyn Shields. P. 114). The reason that this is a difficult topic to teach is that most of the time student relate this information to personal when trying to figure out how their problem lines up with the theory it gets lost in translation. Another way that students get miss lead on skinners theory is by the use of the Matrix- based according to the article it states, “Other matrix-based approaches complicate Skinner’s (1953) concise descriptions of positive and negative reinforcement. For example, Tauber (1988) used the terms desired and dreaded to refer to consequences (p. 152). In contrast, Skinner defined a positive reinforcer as a new stimulus (consequence) produced by a response that strengthens the response. Negative reinforcement is the strengthening of a response that produces the withdrawal or removal of a discriminative stimulus. Desire is not a defining characteristic of a positive reinforcer” (Carolyn Shields, et al.P. 114). A perfect example would be when a person typically views recognition as a desired consequence; in some instances, the individual will try his or her best to try and avoid it. To article also describes that dread is explained as a form of punishment which is a key focus of instruction as to develop a meaningful understanding of the concepts that we are having a difficult time trying to understand. To better assist students to understand the complex terms instructors had handed out a serious of notes that contained the meaning of skinners terms and how one can apply them also students were asked to understand how and if educational programming is truly educational. According to the article, it indicates that “In their analyses, the students identified the behavior, described how it changed, and identified the nature of the consequence. Next, the whole class discussed the situational analyses… For homework, students read four excerpts from Skinner’s (1953) Science and Human Behavior, in which he defined the functional analysis of behavior and elaborated his concepts of reinforcement and punishment” (Carolyn Shields, et al, p. 115). The end result of the exam proved that students made the transition from miss understanding the concepts of operant condition to have a more accurate analysis, “Test results for the problem-solving exercises indicated that the majority of students successfully moved from misconceptions about and misuses of operant conditioning concepts to more accurate analyses. Four ways that conceptions changed were (a) a posttest differentiation of positive reinforcement from reward and negative reinforcement from punishment, (b) a posttest differentiation of positive from good and negative from bad, (c) a decrease in responses that identified behavior as desired or undesired to responses that identified repetition as evidence of learning, and (d) a decrease in responses that used amorphous terms like something bad or something unpleasant to increased use of the terms aversive stimulus and stimulus” ( Carolyn Shields, et al, P. 116)”.

The next part of this paper is addressing, traditional learning theories: behaviorism and social learning theories, what do we know about social behaviorism, it is not about how one should be out in public. Social behaviorism is to my Understanding how one learns to be a member of a group, which is primary socialization this is when we learn things habits words jesters from the people that raised us or may have come into contact with at a young age. For a child to really grow and excel parents or caregivers must be able to satisfy a child’s physical needs, such as food shelter and clothing. Also, parents and caregivers must also teach and give children the tools they need to properly function in society. In the Article, The “Discovery” of Social Behaviorism and Social Learning Theory, 1870-1980 the article discusses how social behaviorism was first developed and how over time it has grown and evolved. According to the article it states, “ Social behaviorism is historically defined here in two ways: first, as the “discovery” over the past century of a mechanism for learning social behaviors. such as language, attitudes, aggression, and morality through the principles of contiguity, effect, and internal representation; and second, as the rediscovery of this mechanism during the 1960s in a two-factor social

behaviorism and a three-factor social learning theory, with the ensuing interchanges between adherents of the two positions “ ( WILLIAM R. WOODWARD, P. 396). However, as we see the growth of social behaviorism and social learning we start to see that within the article there have been many debates, for example during the 1970’s operant psychologist started to lean away from the circle and continuity and they have started to learn more toward a more moral view of behavior characteristic. According to the article, “ Staddon (1973) argued that the “limitation of the causes of behavior to temporally contiguous stimuli is without justification.” Rachlin (1974) criticized social learning theorists such as Mischel, Rotter, and Bandura for using the term self-reinforcement,ent “to bring cause and effect into temporal contiguity” ( WILLIAM R. WOODWARD, P. 397). To my understanding, a perfect example of social behavior is when a people interact with themselves, however, this does not only apply to humans but animals and other creatures as well, this kind of social interaction can be both verbal or nonverbal, for instance, some nonverbals interactions would be a handshake or a high five. A verbal interaction would be a conversation, teaching or even flirting. With further understanding of the article in indicates, “ The power of Charles Darwin’s (1873) The Expression of the Emotions in Man and Animals was its radical claim that emotional behavior changes through both inheritance and experience. As Howard Gruber has shown, Darwin was inclined to “bracket” the mechanism of inheritance, while putting explanatory weight on the selection of favorable variations (Gruber & Barrett, 1974, p. 193). Applied to behavior, this meant that “serviceable associated habits” were the joint product of the inherited expressions of emotion and an environmental selection process (Darwin, 1873, p. 28). Social behaviorism is really the result of a gradual penetration of evolution into psychology. Rather than occurring all at once, the “discovery” that the environment molds behavior much as it does organs required a century of working out” ( WILLIAM R. WOODWARD, P. 398). Even though that social behaviorism and social learning have been updated over the years these two terms have helped many people problem solve many issues. Without understanding how it all began then we would not have anything to build upon and then just like the first article we would be miss understanding allot of complex concepts.

The next topic that I will be addressing is attention and memory, from my understanding, the term attention is something that is used in everyday language however in the field of psychology it’s a concentration of awareness. Attention, then, may be understood as a condition of selective awareness which governs the extent and quality of one’s interactions with one’s environment. It is not necessarily held under voluntary control. Some of the histories of attention and the methods by which psychologists and others have come to characterize and understand it are presented in the discussion that follows. For example, because through the day we have so many things that are happening around us that it becomes difficult to pay attention to every single thing that is going on so what we do is have what is called selective attention meaning that we pay attention to the things that are only important to us. Memory is psychology is maintaining information over a long period of time, memory is important in our lives. Without memory of what we use to be like in the past, how can an individual operate in the present time it will be quite difficult not being able to remember. When it comes to memory there are three big stages, the first stage of memory is encoding this is when you as an individual has experienced something and now it is stored into your, however, your mind changes the information so that your system can cope with it and it can be stored. And in storage, there are also three ways it can store the first one is a picture the second is sound and the third one is meaning. The third stage of memory is retraveled now this works by triggering one of the three encoded stages, picture, sound or meaning and one of these can trigger a memory a good one or bad one. In the article called working Memory training in schizophrenia and Healthy Populations, this article discusses the difficulty of people who have schizophrenia the struggle they are having keeping a working memory according to the article it states, “ Individuals with schizophrenia commonly demonstrate a compromised neurocognitive profile and have been found to score one to two standard deviations below healthy individuals, or other individuals with a psychiatric disorder, on measures of cognitive performance” ( Linette Lawlor-Savage, et al, p.301).

However, people with schizophrenia are having a hard time grasping to reality, they are lost in their own minds, at if not caught at an early stage then things could only get worse with age. According to the article it states, “Cognitive impairment is considered a core feature of schizophrenia rather than a consequence of symptoms or pharmacological treatments, and likely represents a genetic marker of schizophrenia. Furthermore, impaired cognitive ability is currently the strongest correlate of poor day-to-day functioning for individuals with schizophrenia. Deficits in attention, working memory, and executive functioning have been associated with poor work skills, interpersonal communications, and community functioning, and unemployment” (Linette Lawlor-Savage, et al, p.302). the sub-topic that would fit into my career goal is lifelong learning, as a psychologist, I find it very impart to fully understand the effects of every patient that will come my way, in doing so I will have a better chance in helping them get their condition under control. According to the article, “Working memory refers to the temporary storage and manipulation of perceived information and is crucial for learning, reasoning, and comprehension of language. As described in two comprehensive meta-analyses, clear deficits in working memory are present in schizophrenia across a number of measures, specifically, tasks assessing maintenance and/or manipulation of auditory, visual, lexical, or semantic information” (Linette Lawlor-Savage, et al, p.302).


The following topic that I will be addressing is Decision making when we think about what decision making is it is pretty much straightforward yes, the things that we decided to have an effect, however, depending on the kind of situation it can also have an effect on another individual. In making choices we are evaluating or forming our own opinions of several alternatives of how our choice my either hurt us or help us but with after that then we will choose the one that we feel is the best choice for you. Decision making plays a key role in many professions, such as public policy, medicine, and management. The related concept of judgment refers to the use of information, often from a variety of sources, to form an evaluation or expectation. One might imagine that people’s judgment determines their choices, though it is not always the case. In the article, Decision-Making rationales among Quebec Vet Students Aged 25 and Older. The paper follows students and the choices that they make during their educational experience the article addresses many issues about the journey these students are facing in finishing there required coursed and the adjustments that they have had to make along the way according to the article it states, “The life experiences of many of these adults are marked by complex psychosocial and professional events, which may have influenced their career decision-making processes” ( Louis Cournoyer, et al, P. 226). The subtopic that is would fall into would be mentorship, as a former graduate it wasn’t until I was older, I found the drive for education, I think that this is something many children are lacking in. if there is something that I have had a teacher tell me that hot home a little was that you have two choices one is when you are fifty, you’re going to look back and say I done it I went to school I put in the work and I had a great adventure doing it. Or you could do go down the other road which is I wish I could have studied I wish I didn’t give up. either way, you will still be fifty however you get there the choice will be up to you. I know this will relate to future career goal because I will inspire the young generation to become or ambitious reach for their goals.


The fifth topic that I will addressing in my paper is language acquisition what this means is the ability to figure out language for example think about a child or a baby, we see them as little vesicles that is waiting to be filled with knowledge, what theories have been lead to deceiver is that language is hardwired into our brains to learn language, in the beginning the psychologist to first think this and come out with a theory was Skinner argued that children learn language based on behaviorist reinforcement principles by associating words with meanings. Correct utterances are positively reinforced when the child realizes the communicative value of words and phrases. In the article Infant Vocal Development, the article indicates, “Skinner’s analysis of verbal behavior (1957) deals with the identification of the environmental variables that control fully developed adult verbalizations. In his analysis he has classified verbal behavior in terms of the kinds of environmental control exerted over instances of verbal behavior rather than solely in terms of topographic distinctions. Of the various classifications that he proposes, the “mand,” “tact,” and “echoic” categories appear most relevant to the study of the development of infant vocal behavior during the first year of life” (Daniel E. Hursh, P. 2). Within learning language acquisition there are five stages the first one is silent/receptive depending on the learner this could last for a couple of hours or several months during this time the learner is observing language and hos it sounds and the pronouncing of words. The second stage is speech emergence at this point the learner is able to speak about 3000 words or more and is able to communicate by putting words into short and simple phrases they may not be grammatically correct, but this is an important stage during which learners gain greater comprehension and begin reading and writing in their second language. Intermediate fluency at this stage the learner is able to communicate at about 6,000 words They usually acquire the ability to communicate in writing and speech using more complex sentences. This crucial stage is also when learners begin actually thinking in their second language, which helps them gain more proficiency in speaking it. Continued language development/advanced fluency It takes most learners at least two years to reach this stage, and then up to 10 years to achieve full mastery of the second language in all its complexities and nuances. Second language learners need ongoing opportunities to engage in discussions and express themselves in their new language, in order to maintain fluency in it.




N conclusion from the time we are borth until the time we pass away we spend a huge portion of our lives learning new things and building upon those things there are many different theorys that have different thoghts on how learning is obtained. B.f Skinner being the first psychologist that had started the theory with out his thought we would made a advancement as we have maide now.


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Mayhew, Matthew J.; Wolniak, Gregory C.; Pascarella, Ernest T..( 2008).

How Educational Practices Affect the Development of Life-Long Learning Orientations in Traditionally-Aged Undergraduate Students. Research in Higher Education, v49 n4 p337-356 Jun 2008. 20 pp. retrieved from

Shields, Carolyn; Gredler, Margaret ( 2003). A Problem-Solving Approach to Teaching Operant Conditioning. Teaching of Psychology, v30 n2 p114-116 2003. 3 pp. retrieved from

Woodward, William R. ( 1982). The ‘discovery’ of social behaviorism and social learning theory, 1870–1980. American Psychologist, Vol 37(4), Apr, 1982. pp. 396-410. Retrieved from

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