Essay on Link Between Learning and Cognition

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Finding a valid meaning of knowledge is not a simple task as many people have more than once given differing insight as to what knowledge entails. The history of knowledge dates far back to Greek philosophy in which Plato and Aristotle manifested great interest in the nature of knowledge; the epistemology tried to identify what knowledge meant, to gain facts of its origin, and about its maximum capacity. As Plato posited that knowledge is inherited and therefore innate, Aristotle advanced in an individual’s sensory experience as the base of knowledge. The enigma of past philosophers in defining knowledge is lingering in the minds of present day theorists’ and is applied and referenced in modern psychology. However, both Plato and Aristotle’s learning theories are regarded as broad and are presently viewed as five learning paradigms that include functionalistic, associationistic, cognitive, neurophysiological, and evolutionary models. Modern theories of learning in more ways than one express the verity of the learning process and fail to observe others, but altogether expound on what learning is.
Learning is primarily associated with a noticeable change in behavior, behavior that is observed to be an annexed ability to those that an individual already possesses. This observable shift in behavior is complemented by a relatively permanent change, not always a posthaste action following the learning experience. According to Olson & Hergenhahn (2009), the change in behavior (or behavior potentiality) results from experience or practice, and further the experience, or practice, must be reinforced; that is, only those responses that lead to reinforcement will be learned, stated by Kimble (1961). However, Kimble's definition of ...

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...n learning and cognition becomes clear, nonetheless, when looking back to Aristotle and Plato, in which although differing in theories, both are recognized for expounding on learning in a very broad manner. As explained by Olson & Hergenhahn (2009), both believed that the mind is actively involved in the attainment of knowledge. The process involved in learning is cognition itself; the way an individual perceives and processes emotional, environmental, or sensory input and rather permanently applies the newly obtained information to generate a change in behavior is learning through its practice, experience, and reinforcement.

Works Cited

Kowalski, R., & Westen, D. (2009). Psychology (5th ed.). Hoboken, MJ: Wiley.
Olson, M. H., & Hergenhahn, B. R. (2009). An introduction to theories of learning (8th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson/Prentice Hall.

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