In AP Psychology this week, we learned about learning. Again, we learned about learning (you’re supposed to laugh!). At first, it seems rather confusing and complicated and unfamiliar. There were just too many new words to define and remember. However, the technique of re-defining the vocabulary in one’s own words put forth by Mr. Marshall definitely helped me in remembering them. By now, my vocabulary page for Chapter 6: Learning has been completed.

It appears all three forms of learning discussed in the book, classical conditioning, operant learning and cognitive learning, all cooperate harmoniously in our everyday experience. After all, we all learn and what we learn come from by one way or the other. For academics, however, cognitive learning is the most useful, at least in my considered opinion.

A fact I am certain is of interest to everyone is that learning, no matter what form, takes time. The amount of time taken depends on the form of learning. Classical conditioning requires the neutral stimuli to be presented on multiple occasions in order to be associated with a conditioned response. Operant learning requires the consequences of a behavior to be felt before its effect is stamped upon the subject. Cognitive learning requires a considerable amount of time in order that the subject remembers the mental model created earlier.

I can remember personal experiences with classical conditioning and cognitive learning. When I had fish as pets, I used to walk very loudly out to the pond before dropping food into  it. After several times, as I was walking in normal pace towards it, the fish rose to the surface automatically, their mouths opened like o’s. They did it every time I walked out into the garden, no matter what I intended to do, i.e. going to school. I just had a delightful experience with cognitive learning very recently in math class. Last class, we covered antidifferentiation by substitution. Initially, this method of integration was unfamiliar; we needed to antidifferentiate and differentiate in the same process of deriving an algebraic formula for an integral. We hence struggled to get the classwork done. I went home a slept tight for a few days. Yesterday, when I completed homework, I could solve every single problem without much difficulty. Calculus can be bizarre sometimes; for example, Leibniz notation of the derivative dy/dx can, depending on the situation, behave like a fraction while is not so in others. That is why it is intended to be in collegiate mathematics courses and only introduced to high school as advanced placement classes (AP). An open mind is essential in learning these kinds of things.

Tet holiday is starting towards the end of next week. I am looking forward to more opportunities to pay my sleep debts. I think I need more sleep than usual after learning something challenging.

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2 responses »

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