Learning & Reinforcement

Mrs. Shuchi Dikshit

It is a relatively permanent change in the frequency of occurrence of a specific individual behaviour

Barriers to Learning
Individual Teams & Groups Organizations

Approaches to Learning
Classical Conditioning Operant Conditioning Social Learning Cognitive Learning

Classical Conditioning
(Pavlov, 1902) A type of conditioning in which an individual responds to some stimulus that would not ordinarily produce such a response. Reflex: An involuntary or automatic response that is not under an individuals conscious control. Unconditioned Stimulus: Environment event Conditioned Stimulus

Unconditioned Stimulus (Food) Reflex Response (Salvation) Conditioned Stimulus (Bell)

Operant Conditioning
(Skinner, 1971) A type of conditioning in which desired voluntary behavior leads to a reward or prevents a punishment. Learning happens because of the consequences that follow the behaviour Consequences determine the strength & frequency of operant conditioned behaviour

Social-Learning Theory
(Bandura, 1977 among others)

People can learn through observation, imitating and direct experience. People develop a mental picture of the behaviour & its result & then try it. If the results are positive the behaviour gets repeated.
Observes Guides



Behaviour Behaviour



For Managers
Identify the behaviour that will lead to improved performance Select the appropriate model for employees to observe Make sure employees are capable of meeting the technical skills required Create positive learning situation to increase likelihood Provide positive feedback Develop organizational practices that maintain those newly learned behaviour

Cognitive Learning

It involves selective interpretation of perceptual data organized into patterns of thoughts & relationships Includes: use of senses, conceptualization, memory, perception, language Humans are capable of rearranging through patterns into new configuration or ‘Gestalts’.

Cognitive Learning
Insight: sudden discovery to the answer of the problem Discrimination: Process by which universal or previously structured elements are placed into more specific structures Generalization: Process through which we transfer learning from one situation to another as well as categorize information

Programmed Learning
Process of increasing learning efficiency by emphasizing the learner’s active role, use of small successive steps, providing immediate feedback to learner response and allowing him to proceed at his own pace Shaping of behaviour Strengthening stimulus-response bonds

Programmed Learning
● ● ●

Task is broken down into chunks of small portions Learner receives feedback Learner proceeds at his own pace

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Learner has no control as the sequence is predetermined Based on the view that knowledge is comprising aggregates of discreet elements. Integration becomes difficult

Designing communication - based research & practice & implementing communicationbased systems & activities Three assumptions on which sensemaking is based
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Communication system & practices can be designed & implemented in response to human needs To pursue their vision humans can enhance their store of communication To achieve this communication-based approaches needs to be developed

Aspects in Sensemaking
Identity Retrospective Enactment Social Continuous Process Extracted cues Plausibility

Learning Styles
Reflection on Experience

Diverger Assimilator Developing Concrete theories & experiences of the events Accomodator onverger models based on C reflection Practical application of theories & models

Learning Styles
They learn best by reflecting on specific experiences & drawing new inferences Assimilators: Are good at creating theoretical models with their capabilities to combine reflective observation & abstract conceptualization Convergers: Use abstract concepts as a basis for active experimentation Accomodator: Their domain is active experimentation & the carrying out of plans that lead to real experiences

Contingencies of Reinforcements
It is a relationship between behaviour & the preceding & following events that influence that behaviour.
Pleasant Event Event Added Event removed Positive Omission Reinforcement Negative Reinforcement

Unpleasant Punishment Event


Positive reinforcement

Providing a reward for a desired behavior. Removing an unpleasant consequence when the desired behavior occurs. Applying an undesirable condition to eliminate an undesirable behavior. Withholding reinforcement of a behavior to cause its cessation.

Negative reinforcement



Negative Effects
Reduction of undesirable behaviour by the employee as a result of punishment may lead to

Emotional reaction in the form of sabotage Aggressive behaviour Short-term suppression but not complete Reduction of behaviour in pressure Suppression of employee initiative & flexibility Quitting the job

Guidelines for Contingencies
Do not reward all employees the same The failure to respond to a behaviour has reinforcing consequences Let employees know which behaviour got reinforced Let employees know what they are doing wrong Do not punish the employees in front of others Make response equal to the behaviour by not cheating workers of their just rewards

Schedules of Reinforcement
Continuous Reinforcement A desired behavior is reinforced each time it is demonstrated.

Intermittent Reinforcement A desired behavior is reinforced often enough to make the behavior worth repeating but not every time it is demonstrated.

Schedules of Reinforcement
Fixed-Interval Schedule Rewards are spaced at uniform time intervals.

Variable-Interval Schedule Rewards are initiated after a fixed or constant number of responses.

Behaviour Modification
Refers to the procedures & principles that are based on operant conditioning Identification of behaviour
– – – –

Observing the behaviour Measuring the behaviour Describing the situation in which the behaviour occurs

Identifying Relevant Behaviour Observing Behaviour •Measuring Behaviour •Describing Situation

Measuring Behaviour Baseline period •Intervention period •Feedback

Step 1

Does the behaviour lead to achievement of organizational objectives ? Is it desirable?

If behaviour is desirable, enhance the frequency by

Positive Reinforcem ent

Negative Reinforcem ent

If behaviour is undesirable, reduce the frequency by

Step 2



Has the problem been solved ? Yes No

Continue with the contingency of reinforcement

Select alternative contingency of reinforcement

Step 3

Re-identify desired behaviour

Transfer of Learning
Employee Training: The systematic, acquisition of skills, rules, concepts or attitudes that result in improved performance at the job

Feedback/Knowledge of the results Part or Whole learning Method(Compartmentalization) Massed or distributed Practice(Time Gap)

Training Methods
Online Training Simulation On-the-Job Training
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Coaching Mentoring Induction

Soft Skills Training

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