You are on page 1of 24

LEARNING

Amity Business School

How people learn behaviours and what management can do to shape those behaviours? What are the various Learning theories ? Explain the concept of reinforcement. Can it be applied in organizations?

Learning
Learning

Amity Business School

Any relatively permanent change in knowledge or observable behavior that occurs as a result from practice or experience. Learning

Involves change
Is relatively permanent Is acquired through experience direct or indirect

Amity Business School

Learning is a continuous, automatic and often social processAlthough there are times when individuals will deliberately and consciously learn and study, for the most part learning takes place without any necessary deliberations, nor any assessments to find out how much has been learnt. (Mullins:1996).

Amity Business School

Why ?

Effective managers focus on identifying observable employee behaviors and the environmental conditions that affect these behaviors. They attempt to influence external events in order to influence the behavior/ desirable. You can facilitate the learning process

Amity Business School

How learning happens? Theories of Learning

The process of learning can be examined by understanding the following theories-Classical Conditioning -Operant Conditioning - Cognitive learning -Social Learning

Theories of Learning Classical Conditioning

Amity Business School

A type of conditioning in which an individual responds to some stimulus that would not ordinarily produce such a response. Key Concepts Unconditioned stimulus Unconditioned response Conditioned stimulus Conditioned response

Amity Business School

Classical Conditioning
Classical conditioning grew out of experiments to teach dogs to salivate in response to the ringing of a bell. These experiments were conducted at the turn of the century by a Russian physiologist called Ivan Pavlov.

Amity Business School

Using these concepts we can summarize classical conditioning.

Classical Conditioning

Learning a conditioned response involves building up an association between a conditioned stimulus and an unconditioned stimulus. When the stimuli, one compelling and the other neutral, are paired, the neutral one becomes a conditioned stimulus and takes on the properties on the unconditioned stimulus.

Amity Business School

Classical Conditioning
Classical conditioning is passive. Something happens and we react in a specific way. It is elicited in response to a specific, identifiable event. As such it can explain simple reflexive behaviours.

Amity Business School

But most complex behaviour- behaviour of individuals in organizations is emitted (produced) rather than elicited( extracted), that is it is voluntary rather than reflexive For example most employees choose to be on time or late for work, choose to seek or not to seek help with problems and choose to or not to goof off when they are not being watched.

Amity Business School

Operant Conditioning
Operant conditioning argues that behaviour is a function of its consequences[it is] a type of conditioning in which desired voluntary behaviour leads to a reward or prevents a punishment.

Amity Business School

Operant Conditioning
What Pavlov did for classical conditioning, the Harvard psychologist B.F. Skinner did for operant conditioning. Building on earlier work in the field by Thorndike (law of effect - behaviour as a result of successful outcome), Skinners research extensively expanded our knowledge of operant conditioning.

Amity Business School

B.F. Skinner
Behaviour is assumed to be determined from without - that is, learned - rather than from within - reflexive or unlearned. (Skinner) Skinner argued that creating pleasing consequences to follow specific forms of behaviour would increase the frequency of that behaviour.

Amity Business School

Operant Conditioning
Behaviour modification is the term given when behaviour is gradually shaped and reinforced by rewards as the person comes closer to the end objectives. Learning occurs incrementally with the task divided into sub-goals each with their own reward.

Amity Business School

Operant Conditioning- critics


Rewards are only one part of the learning process. By themselves the behavioural theories are not able to account for the complexity of differing situations that individuals face nor for the variety of individual responses given.

Amity Business School

Cognitive learning
From the 1930s cognitive psychologists have advanced a number of arguments with respect to the limitation of the behaviorist school.
Learning is considered as the outcome of deliberate thinking about the problem or situation both intitutively and based upon known facts and responding in an objective and goal oriented manner.

Amity Business School

Cognition in fact , is the act of knowing an item of information and this knowledge affects the behaviour of the person so that the information provides cognitive cues towards the expected goal. Tolmans experiments

Amity Business School

Individuals have goals and plans not readily observable which might affect the learning process. An individuals personality, perceptions and motivations will also influence the learning process. Cognitive theorists pay attention to the individual factors influencing the learning process.

Cognitive Theories

Amity Business School

Social-Learning Theory
People can learn through observation and direct experience. It emphasis on the importance of perception in learning. It integrates cognitive and operant People acquire new behaviors by observing or imitating others in social setting Albert Bandura- modelling theory

Amity Business School

Shaping Behavior
Systematically reinforcing each successive step that moves an individual closer to the desired response. Key Concepts
Reinforcement is required to change behavior. Some rewards are more effective than others. The timing of reinforcement affects learning speed and permanence.

Amity Business School

Reinforcement
The term reinforce means to strengthen, and is used in psychology to refer to anything stimulus which strengthens or increases the probability of a specific response. For example, if you want your dog to sit on command, you may give him a treat every time he sits for you. The dog will eventually come to understand that sitting when told to will result in a treat. This treat is reinforcing because he likes it and will result in him sitting when instructed to do so. This is a simple description of a reinforcer (Skinner, 1938), the treat, which increases the response, sitting.

Amity Business School

Types of Reinforcement
Positive reinforcement Negative reinforcement Punishment Extinction

Amity Business School

Schedules of Reinforcement
The 2 major types 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. It can be ratio or interval type Ratio-fixed ratio and variable ratio Interval fixed interval and variable interval

Amity Business School

Does punishment system works?