Learning

Type of psychology: Biological bases of behavior; learning; motivation Fields of study: Biological influences on learning; instrumental conditioning; Pavlovian conditioning; problem solving

Learning refers to a change in behavior as a result of experience. Learning is studied in a variety of species in an attempt to uncover basic principles. There are two major types of learning: classical (Pavlovian) conditioning and operant (instrumental) conditioning. Exposure to uncontrollable aversive events can have detrimental effects on learning. Consequences can be successfully used to develop a variety of behaviors, including even random, unpredictable performance. Learning produces lasting changes in the nervous system.

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