Contemporary Pavlovian Learning Theory
Pavlovian theory also called the classical conditioning was first introduced by Professor Ivan Pavlov. The theory can be defined as the process of learning about the relationship between the conditionals stimulus to an unconditional stimulus. Conditional stimulus can be defined as a kind of stimulus after it has been associated with an unconditional stimulus; it later provides a response known as the conditional response. Unconditional stimulus can be defined as that stimulus when introduced it results into a conditional response (Weiner, Healy, Freedheim & Schinka, 2003). There are several adaptive purposes of the Pavlovian Theory, which could be used in learning the behavior of people.
These adaptive purposes are because of the different responses that are produced by the different people or animals. Usually, they are what makes people respond to what they are responding to. One of the adaptive purposes is the perception or the aim that leads to a perception. The Pavlovian Theory states that the dogs were responding to food whenever it was brought to them. Later the dogs started to respond to the bell, which was being rung before the food was brought. This showed that the adaptive purposes of the dog were to eat the food. Therefore, the dog responded to the bells because its main purpose was to eat the food.
Another adaptive purpose that was brought about by the Pavlovian Theory was behaviorism. The different responses that were exhibited in the pavlovian experiment led to a certain behavior in the different animals. For example, the first time the food was brought to the dogs, only responded to the food. When the bells were introduced routinely, every time the food was being brought to the dogs, they started to attract a response from the dogs. This made the dogs to respond every time they heard a bell ring even without being brought food. This led to the dogs developing a behavior towards the bells that were being rung. Therefore, the adaptive purpose behaviorism was served in the Pavlovian Theory very much.
The Pavlovian Theory had become an insight to the world of psychology and it led to the several adaptations, which were later used even to treating patients with some mental disorders. This meant that the different patients who had mental disorders could be treated by the use of the Pavlovian Theory. For instance, if a patient had been having a phobia of animals, he or she could be treated using the Pavlovian Theory. This phobia was because of adaptive behavior, which showed that the patient was afraid of animals. Due to this, a new stimulus has to be introduced so that the patient will have to learn how to adapt with the animals. Therefore, the adaptive purposes were served well by the Pavlovian Theory.
The cognitive theories of learning can be defined as the process whereby different human beings are able to think by themselves and make logical decisions that make sense to them (Saklofske & Zeidner, 2010). In the theory, the human beings are thought to make the decisions that they find are suitable and usually they are not affected by behavior. Reflex models in the Pavlovian Theory are those responses that are produced in it. These reflex models are very different depending on the kind of stimulus in which human beings respond to (Weiner, Healy, Freedheim & Schinka, 2003). However, the cause of this reflexes can be said to be more of cognitive than reflex because of how the human beings react to the stimulus.
One of the reasons as to why the cognitive theory suggests a richer dimension than the reflex models on the Pavlovian Theory is because of the environmental factors. Since the Pavlovian Theory is about responses due to the different stimulus, there is a thought process, which is involved before the respond is made. As Cognitive Theory states that people must think before the respond to something so that they can come up with the best possible answer, the results only matter after the people have thought what they are going to do. This decision process however is affected by the environmental factors as to what will happen if a certain response was to taken. On the other hand, the reflex model only states that the human beings generally do not have to think critically but go with the flow of the different things. Therefore, the Cognitive Theory of learning is richer than the reflex models since people have to think first before they respond.
In addition to the above, it is the cognitive theories of learning, which help the people, understand the different responses that are exhibited by different people due to certain different stimulus (Glanz, Rimer & Lewis, 2002). For example, when different teachers see that there is a lot of anxiety in their different students usually in their thought process they know that the stimulus has been caused by something. These students could have an anxiety because the exams are very near. On the other hand, the reflexive models only show that the students are anxious but they do not show as to why the students are anxious. Therefore, it is through Cognitive Theory that the teachers have been to think carefully and understand why the responses are happening. For this reason, the cognitive theory is richer than the reflex models.
Another reason as to why the cognitive theory is richer than the reflective model, are the social factors. The social factors are those factors that if they are good people will try to emulate them but if they are bad people will try to refrain from them (University of Twente, 2011). For example, if the teachers punish their students every time they have done something it will be most likely that the other students will not commit nay mistakes. This is because the other students have critically thought of the different responses that would happen if they make mistakes. In contrast, if the reflex models were used, the students will always be misbehaving all the times. Therefore, the cognitive theory is richer that the reflexive method in the Pavlovian Theory.
Another reason as to why the cognitive theory is richer than the reflexive model in the Pavlovian Theory is that the people think by observation and there is no behavior change. In the reflexive models, there is usually behavior change. This is because of the different responses that the people keep on exhibiting (Fristcher, 2011). For example, when students observe what a prominent person like the president did to be where he or she is most likely they will try to emulate them. However, if they observed what a criminal did most likely they will not try to emulate that resulting to lack of behavioral change or responses. This means that the cognitive theory is more in the Pavlovian Theory that the reflex models are.
Another reason as to why the Pavlovian Theory is cognitive than the reflex model is due to the different behaviors that are exhibited by the human beings. When people react from the different stimulus they are being presented with, they tend to adapt these responses. When they adapt these responses, they form a behavior towards them. In contrast to this, the reflex models tend to be flat since there is no thought process with them. They will be of a routine than a behavior. For example, when teachers start to show respect in the kind of work their students are doing, the students will be motivated and they will have a positive behavior towards this notion. If the reflex models were to be followed, the students will not notice and they will follow their usual daily routine. Therefore, the cognitive theory is richer than the reflex models are, in the Pavlovian Theory of learning.
In conclusion, it can be noted that the Pavlovian Theory is about the different responses that are exhibited after a conditional stimulus have been introduced. Additionally, it is the Pavlovian Theory that has also brought into light about how certain cognitive behaviors occur in different situations. Moreover, it is the cognitive theory that describes the Pavlovian Theory better than the reflex models, which are exhibited in the different stimulus. Therefore, the cognitive theory is richer in the Pavlovian Theory than the reflex models are.
Fristcher, L., (2011). Cognitive Theory. About.com. Retrieved from http://phobias.about.com/od/glossary/g/cognitivethedef.htm
Glanz, K., Rimer, B.K. & Lewis, F.M. (2002). Health Behavior and Health Education. Theory, Research and Practice.San Fransisco, CA: Wiley & Sons.
Saklofske, D. H., & Zeidner, M., (2010). Handbook of Individual Differences in Cognition. Columbus, GA: Springer
University of Twente, (2011). Social Cognitive Theory. University of Twente. Retrieved From: http://www.utwente.nl/cw/theorieenoverzicht/Theory%20clusters/Health%20Communication/Social_cognitive_theory.doc/
Weiner, I. B., Healy, A. F., Freedheim, D. K., & Schinka, J. A., (2003). Handbook of Psychology: Experimental psychology. New York, NY: John Wiley and Sons
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