Essay about Cognitive Learning Theory

1476 Words Mar 25th, 2011 6 Pages
Cognitive Learning Theory
Angela Baker
PSY 331
Mr. Domingo Mamaril
June 21, 2010

Cognitive Learning Theory Cognitive theorists try to explain human behavior by understanding how we process and store new information. The cognitive theories of learning originated from the gestalt theory. The three major contributors to the cognitive learning theories were Jean Piaget, Edward Tolman, and Albert Bandura. In this paper, I will evaluate the work of all three theorists, demonstrate an understanding of the theory, and explain how the theory can be applied to our current educational environment. The gestalt theory was founded by three men, Max Wertheimer, Wolfgang Kohlu, and Kurt Koffka. Wertheimer conducted several experiments, using a
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He believed that the whole behavior of a person had to be studied. His theory is referred to as purposive behaviorism. For Tolman, behavior will look “as if” it has a goal as long as we are looking for something in our environment. Tolman conducted experiments using rats to develop his learning theory. He is most famous for his studies involving maze running (Vanderzwag, 1998). These experiments are what led to the theory of latent learning. Three groups of rats were trained to run a maze. One group was fed when they reached the goal. The next group was not rewarded until day seven and the third was rewarded on day three. Of course they ran the maze with fewer errors after they received their reward. To Tolman, this meant they had learned during no reward and developed a “cognitive map” of the maze after they received their reward. According to Tolman, this is latent learning. An example of this would be us knowing how to get to work, school, or home. Tolman developed six different kinds of learning: (Olson & Hergenhahn, 2009). (1) Cathexes- our learned tendency to associate certain objects with certain drive states. (2) Equivalence belief- a previously neutral event develops the ability to satisfy a need. (3) Field- cognition mode- learned or inherited strategies that are used while trying to solve problems. (4) Filed expectancies-we learn what leads to what. (5) Drive discriminations- we learn to differentiate drive states

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