haviorist VS Cognitive
Learning is the “relatively permanent change in behavior”
(Burns, R., 2002)
andcan come in the form of observable activities and internal processes.Explanations of what happens when these actions occur are known as learningtheories. These theories include behaviorist, cognitivist, humanist, social learningand constructivist. In this essay behaviorist and cognitivists will be described,compared and contrasted in order to truly understand their approaches.
BEHAVIORIST ORIENTATION DESCRIBED
The behaviorist approach attempts to study learning and behavior within ascientific tradition and was developed by John B. Watson in the early 20
century. Three assumptions set out its notions: The focus of study is generallyobservable behavior, the environment shapes behavior, and the principles of contiguity and reinforcement are essential in explaining the learning process
(Grippin, P., & Peters, S., 1984).
Behaviorists maintain the assumption that we see and experience the worldexactly as it presents itself physically, for everyone. This therefore leads to thenotion that everything functions according to natural laws, and any changeoccurring is due to a cause and effect. Hence, this theory focuses on howenvironmental stimuli elicit behavior and responses.
COGNITIVE ORIENTATION DESCIRBED
Gestalt’s views of Bode, Wertheimer, Kohler, Koffka and Lewin later criticised thebehaviorist theory in 1929, through publications. These psychologists proposed“looking at the whole rarther than its parts, and at patterns instead of isolatedevents”
(Ormrod, J. E., 1995)