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Methods and Research Essay

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Updated: Apr 11th, 2020

The psychology of learning is a term that describes hypothetical methodical discipline. The term ‘learning’ is used to depict a course that relies on knowledge and is a reason for long-term adjustment in the potential in a manner of conducting oneself. In contrast to a substantial behavior, attitude potential defines the feasible pattern of actions of an individual (Kurtz 81).

Learning psychology is based on the presumption that the surroundings, accustoming, support and various other factors give psychotherapists a suggestion towards interpreting of human nature and demeanor. “As opposed to short-term changes in behavior potential (caused e.g. by fatigue) learning implies long term changes. As opposed to long-term changes caused by aging and development, learning implies changes related directly to experience”. (“Psychology of Learning” par. 2)

There are different theories regarding the psychology of learning; moreover, they have been categorized into four extensive prospects. These are behaviorism, cognitive theory, humanistic perspective and social aspect (“Learning Theories Site Map” par. 4). Behaviorist theory aims its attention towards the detectable behavior.

The example is a positive reinforcement of a child learning to walk. According to the cognitive theory, learning is considered to be an entirely cerebral or neurological mechanism (Muehlenkamp 125). A dancer who expects the applauses of the audience as a positive reinforcement is an example. Humanistic perspective claims that learning is not essentially mental; affection and feelings alter the process of learning.

The example is family therapy. And last but not the least, social aspect shows that a person is learning better in class exercises or group activities rather than separately. The example is a child observing the behavior of group characters on TV. “In society, children are surrounded by many influential models, such as parents within the family, characters on children’s TV, friends within their peer group and teachers at school” (McLeod par. 4).

The origin of these theories is different, as they have developed and continued to evolve over the years. Some of the perspectives prospered as a result to negative feedback of the previous theories. Other perspectives are established upon constitutional theories while searching for an explicit framework of learning, or bringing the existing theories to a more mature and refined degree.

There are several primary methods of research in psychology: correlational, descriptive, and experimental. The most straightforward type of information-gathering is naturalistic observation, which means monitoring the behavior patterns in the ordinary surroundings of an individual. The research usually requires calculating the behavior (for example, threatening actions).

The advantages are “naturally occurring behavior that is not manipulated by a researcher and providing more qualitative data as opposed to merely quantitative information” (Heffner 1). On the other hand, there are certain weaknesses: the beliefs of the observer can adjust the outcome; moreover, even the attendance of a researcher can affect the behavior of the patient.

Studying one case at a time, often during a protracted period is a case study method. It requires realistic examination and psychological interactions, such as tests and questioning with evaluation. The method allows collecting qualitative and quantitative data; therefore it approves interpreting unusual cases. However, case study requires a lot of time and implicated other difficulties connected to the used approaches.

Questioning allows the researcher to assemble extensive volumes of data in a comparatively limited time. The drawbacks of this theory are assorted errors in the research data as the subjects can give inaccurate feedback due to various reasons.

Works Cited

Heffner, Christopher. “Types of Research.” Virtual Psychology Classroom. 1.4 (2015): 1-2.

Kurtz, Kenneth. “Human Category Learning: Toward a Broader Explanatory Account.” Psychology of Learning and Motivation 63.1 (2015): 77-114. Print.

Learning Theories Site Map, 2011.

McLeod, Saul. n.d. . n.d.

Muehlenkamp, Jennifer. “Problem-Based Learning for Introductory Psychology: Preliminary Supporting Evidence.” Scholarship of Teaching and Learning in Psychology 1.2 (2015): 125-136. Print.

, 2008

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