Learning – Behaviours That are Learned in Association


     There are two ways in which infants learn from their environment. These types of learning are known as classical conditioning and operant conditioning. Classical conditioning occurs when an event in the environment becomes associated with a certain pleasurable feeling for the child and then that event can elicit a certain response from the infant. For example, the sound of a mother’s voice may become associated with the being cuddled and produce a feeling of comfort for a child. Through learning the child may no longer need to be cuddled in order to be comforted, but only to hear its mother’s voice.

     Operant conditioning occurs when a child’s behaviour is reinforced by the outcome that that behaviour produces. For example, if a baby cries when it is hungry and receives food, it will learn that crying is a way to get fed, and will repeat this behaviour in the future when hungry.

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Child Psychology
Early Childhood
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Community Influences
Middle Childhood
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Problems of Children & Teens