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Thursday, 20 September 2018

Cognitive Learning

Learning based on mental activity is called cognitive learning. Unlike behaviorist learning theory ,cognitive learning theory holds that learning involves complex mental processing of information. Instead of stressing the importance of repetition or the association of rewards with a specific response, cognitive theories emphasize the role of motivation and mental process in producing a required response. Like the computer,the human mind is said to engage in the processing of information it receives as input. Of central importance to the processing of information is the human memory. A major research concern of most cognitive scientists is discovering how information gets stored in memory and how it is retrieved.

Cognitive theory the though process involved in consumer learning. This theory was demonstrated in the experiments of Kohler (1925) on apes. In one experiment a chimpanzee was placed in a cage with several boxes and bananas were hung from the roof. After trying to reach the food and falling,the chimp solved the problem by placing a box under the bananas. Learning was not because of contiguity between stimulus and response or reinforcement; it was rather the result of insight that is perceiving in one's mind how one should solve a problem.

Kohler's approach in learning is presented in the chain (Goal>purposive Behavior>Insight>Goal Achievement) and comprises of recognition of a goal,purpose behaviour to achieve the goal,insight as to a situation,and goal achievement. Here reinforcement is a recognized part of cognition learning since there must be an awareness of goal achievement for learning to take place. However the nature of the goal is understood from the very beginning and the reward is anticipated (eg eating the bananas). In instrumental conditioning ,on the other hand ,the reward is not known or clear until after the behavior has  taken place.