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What Are The 3 Types Of Learning In Psychology

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Types Of Learning Styles: How Do Students Learn Best

8 Types of Psychology with Real-World Perspective

Every student has a strategy they use to remember information more efficiently while studying. Some of them take notes some make diagrams some prefer to listen to lectures, etc. Since no learning style fits all students, scientists have conducted research in order to understand the way students learn new information best.

Lets look at the different types of learning they have distinguished.

Anthony Gregorc’s Mind Styles

Anthony Gregorc and Kathleen Butler went into more detail about how we think, and how this might affect the way we learn.

This theory put us all on a spectrum between concrete and abstract thinking, and between sequential and random ordering of our thoughts.

  • Concrete perceptions happen through the senses, while abstract perceptions deal with ideas.
  • Sequential thinking arranges information in a logical, linear way, while a random approach is multidirectional and unpredictable.

In Gregorc’s model, our strengths and weaknesses in each of these areas determined our individual learning style.

What Harm Does It Do

When a student is pigeonholed as a particular type of learner, and their lessons are all prepared with that in mind, they could be missing out on other learning opportunities with a better chance of success.

Adapting instruction to individual students learning styles is no small taskand teachers who attempt to do so are clearly motivated to find the best way to help their students. They could put their time to better use, though.

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How Do Students Learn Best

Given that everyone has a unique learning method, it would be wrong to say that a specific learning style is the best way to go. However, understanding your own style of learning is very important to your studies.

Since the way someone best consumes information can be a deciding factor in their academic success, understanding what kind of learner they are is vital. You can do this by trying all four methods of learning, and then decide which one helps you remember best. Once you know what kind of style fits you, you can tailor your studies to fit your needs.

There are many factors that affect how someone learns best, including the environment, cognitive and emotional factors. However, understanding your learning style can help you learn more easily. According to the VARK system, there are four types of learning stylesvisual, auditory, kinesthetic, and reading/writing. We hope this article helped you understand in which category you fall into!

Components Of Classical Conditioning

The Basics of the Psychology of Learning

We can gain a better understanding of classical conditioning by looking at the various components involved in Pavlovs experiment. These are:

  • The unconditioned stimulus
  • The conditioned reflex

Lets look at each of these classical conditioning components in more detail now.

Note: In its strictest definition, classical conditioning is described as a previously neutral stimulus which causes a reflex, where stimulus means something which causes a physical response.

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What Are The 3 Theories Of Learning

Although there are many different approaches to learning, there are three basic types of learning theory: behaviorist, cognitive constructivist, and social constructivist.

What is learning and its theories? Learning Theory describes how students absorb, process, and retain knowledge during learning. Cognitive, emotional, and environmental influences, as well as prior experience, all play a part in how understanding, or a world view, is acquired or changed and knowledge and skills retained.

Learning Through Classical Conditioning

The concept of classical conditioning has had a major influence on the field of psychology, yet the man who discovered it was not a psychologist at all. A Russian physiologist named Ivan Pavlov first discovered the principles of classical conditioning during his experiments on the digestive systems of dogs. Pavlov noticed that the dogs in his experiments had begun to salivate whenever they saw the white coats of his lab assistants prior to being fed.

So how exactly does classical conditioning explain learning? According to the principles of classical conditioning, learning takes place when an association is formed between a previously neutral stimulus and a naturally occurring stimulus. In Pavlovs experiments, for example, he paired the natural stimulus of food with the sound of a bell. The dogs would naturally salivate in response to food, but after multiple associations, the dogs would salivate to the sound of the bell alone.

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The Learning Styles Task Force

In the 1980s, American educationalists were still trying to find out as much as they could about learning styles, to help classroom teachers to achieve the best possible results.

The National Association of Secondary School Principals formed a research “task force,” and proposed additional factors that might affect someone’s ability to learn. These included the way study was organized, levels of motivation, and even the time of day when learning took place.

They divided learning styles into three categories: Cognitive, Affective and Physiological.

  • Cognitive: how we think, how we organize and retain information, and how we learn from our experiences.
  • Affective: our attitudes and motivations, and how they impact our approach to learning.
  • Physiological: a variety of factors based on our health, well-being, and the environment in which we learn.

Honey And Mumford’s Learning Styles

Learning Theory & Classical Conditioning (Intro Psych Tutorial #59)

Peter Honey and Alan Mumford developed Kolb’s model by focusing on how learning is used in practice, particularly at work. They identified four new learning styles: Activist, Pragmatist, Reflector, and Theorist using terms that we might naturally pick to describe ourselves and our colleagues.


To find out more about Kolb’s model, and about Honey and Mumford’s Learning Styles, see our article on the 4MAT approach to learning.

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Work On Your Weaknesses

You can often improve areas of your learning that are letting you down simply by using them more.

If you feel that you’re not confident learning visually, for example, get into the habit of reading the charts and diagrams in an article before grappling with the ideas in the text.

Or, if you’re an independent learner by nature, make a point of involving others in your problem-solving from time to time.

Also, actively look for opportunities to try out new ways to learn. You might be surprised about what works and about the new elements of learning that you enjoy.

What Are The 7 Different Learning Styles

Learning styles is the theory that learners can be categorised depending on how they take in information. Therefore, teaching students according to their specific learning styles will result in improved learning. While there is no concrete evidence to support the success of these learning styles, a 2012 study revealed that 93% of teachers in the UK agree that students learn better when they receive information in their preferred learning style.

These learning styles derived from Howard Gardners 1960s theory of Multiple Intelligences. This theory states that: we are all able to know the world through language, logical-mathematical analysis, spatial representation, musical thinking, the use of the body to solve problems or to make things, an understanding of other individuals, and an understanding of ourselves. This essay plans to outline the seven different learning styles while categorising them into three main categories: personal, sensory and informational. It will then recommend study methods for each type of learner.

1. Personal Learning Styles

The personal category links learning styles which depend on other persons to be present or absent. These are different from other learning styles which focus on how the learner takes in information, instead they depend greatly on the learners surroundings and whether they are studying with or without people. These types of styles split into Interpersonal learners or intrapersonal learners.

1.1 Interpersonal Learners


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Physiological Basis Of Learning

The mechanisms of learning and remembering seem to depend on relatively enduring changes in the nervous system. Apparently the effects of learning are first retained in the brain by some reversible process, after which a more permanent neural change takes place. Two types of neurological processes have therefore been suggested. The short-term function of memory, temporary and reversible, may be achieved through a physiological mechanism that keeps the memory trace alive over a limited period of time. The ensuing, more permanent storage may depend on changes in the physical or chemical structure of neurons synaptic changes seem to be particularly important. New studies using positron emission tomography and magnetic resonance imaging scans may illuminate the physiological basis of learning.

Akin to the problem of learning are the relatively complex activities of reasoning, problem solving, and intelligent and linguistic behaviour. See alsoattention developmental psychology intelligence motivation and thought.

The Science Isn’t Strong Enough


We may express our preferences about how we learn, but they’re not necessarily an accurate reflection of how our brains work. According to neuroscientist Susan Greenfield, the idea that we can be defined as purely visual, auditory or kinesthetic learners is “nonsense.” That’s because, she says, “humans have evolved to build a picture of the world through our senses working in unison, exploiting the immense interconnectivity that exists in the brain.”

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The Models Myths And Misconceptions And What They Mean For Your Learning

It’s tempting to try to pin down one “perfect” way of learning. But it can also be dangerous.

Everyone’s approach to learning is based on a complex mix of strengths and preferences. And we absorb and apply new concepts, skills and information in different ways at different times.

So, however helpful it would be to find out how each of us does it “best,” there are many reasons why even asking the question is far from straightforward.

After all, how we learn depends a great deal on what we’re learning. And our preferred learning techniques might not, in fact, be the most useful. Despite this, many scientists, psychologists and education experts have tried to identify distinct, innate “learning styles.”

But serious doubts have arisen about some of the most popular models especially the ways in which they have been applied. There are even concerns that the “labels” they produce might actually limit people’s learning.

In this article, we look at how the key learning styles theories were developed, and explore their intentions and limitations. We also show why it’s still valuable to understand your personal approach to learning even if there’s no single, “magic bullet” solution for any of us.

Different Types Of Learning In Psychology


Psychologists have come up with many different theories to explain what actually happens when someone learns something. Behavioral learning theory, cognitive learning theory, constructivist learning theory, and inquiry-based learning theory are four ways of analyzing the learning process that have impacted teaching strategies, clinical treatment and parenting advice. Many learning theories are not mutually exclusive.

Explore this article

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What Are The 7 Different Learning Styles And Do They Work

You may have heard of the idea that we all respond best to different styles of learning. That is exactly what the seven learning styles theory supports. All of the styles capture an individual strength that likely helps a person retain information more effectively. They each focus on one of the five senses or involve a social aspect. This theory is popular because, by finding an individual learners style and tailoring teaching to it, it was thought their efficiency could be improved. The 7 styles of the theory are:

  • visual
  • verbal
  • logical

However, more recent studies have debunked this theory as an effective way of teaching and highlighted it as a neuromyth. This Guardian article says, Such neuromyths create a false impression of individuals abilities, leading to expectations and excuses that are detrimental to learning in general, which is a cost in the long term.

In other words, attempting to put learners into boxes and trying to only give them material that matches their style isnt going to make them retain information any better. Most people benefit from a range of teaching techniques, and utilising different learning methods can actually improve learners adaptability.

Nevertheless, its certainly true that there are a variety of learning methods people respond to. So, just for fun, weve produced 7 different explanations of the 7 styles, each using techniques that learners of that style should find most useful.

Different Types Of Psychology

How We Make Memories: Crash Course Psychology #13

While many envision psychologists as providing therapy in an office environment, they actually work in many settings and perform varied work depending on their specialty. However, one thing that is common among psychologists is that they all observe human behavior. What they do with that behavior depends on the type of psychology they work within. In this article, we share more about what psychology is and provide a list of different types of psychology you may want to learn more about.

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David Kolb And Experiential Learning

David Kolb’s model of “experiential learning” stated that we learn continually, and, in the process, build particular strengths. Those strengths were said to give rise to personal preferences, which Kolb described in terms of four learning styles: Accommodating, Converging, Diverging, and Assimilating.

As Kolb saw it, Accommodators were “hands-on” types, keen to learn from real experience.

Convergers were supposed to deal better with abstract ideas, but still liked to end up with concrete results. They understood theories, but wanted to test them out in practice.

Divergers tended to use personal experiences and practical ideas to formulate theories that they could apply more widely.

And Assimilators, according to Kolb, were most comfortable working with abstract concepts. They extended their understanding by developing new theories of their own.

Kolb said that it was beneficial to know which type of learner you were, in order to “play to your strengths.” He also believed that educators and trainers could tailor their teaching methods to different people’s learning styles.

Types Of Learning Disabilities

Learning disabilities are due to genetic and/or neurobiological factors that alter brain functioning in a manner which affects one or more cognitive processes related to learning. These processing problems can interfere with learning basic skills such as reading, writing and/or math. They can also interfere with higher level skills such as organization, time planning, abstract reasoning, long or short term memory and attention. It is important to realize that learning disabilities can affect an individuals life beyond academics and can impact relationships with family, friends and in the workplace.

Since difficulties with reading, writing and/or math are recognizable problems during the school years, the signs and symptoms of learning disabilities are most often diagnosed during that time. However, some individuals do not receive an evaluation until they are in post-secondary education or adults in the workforce. Other individuals with learning disabilities may never receive an evaluation and go through life, never knowing why they have difficulties with academics and why they may be having problems in their jobs or in relationships with family and friends.

Learning disabilities should not be confused with learning problems which are primarily the result of visual, hearing, or motor handicaps of intellectual disability of emotional disturbance or of environmental, cultural or economic disadvantages.

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Other Critiques Of Learning Styles Models

Coffield and colleagues are not alone in their judgement. Demos, a UK think tank, published a report on learning styles prepared by a group chaired by Exeter University‘s David Hargreaves that included Usha Goswami from Cambridge University and David Wood from the University of Nottingham. The Demos report said that the evidence for learning styles was “highly variable”, and that practitioners were “not by any means frank about the evidence for their work.”

Cautioning against interpreting neuropsychological research as supporting the applicability of learning style theory, John Geake, Professor of Education at the UK’s Oxford Brookes University, and a research collaborator with Oxford University‘s Centre for Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging of the Brain, commented that

We need to take extreme care when moving from the lab to the classroom. We do remember things visually and aurally, but information isn’t defined by how it was received.

Molecular Versus Molar Behaviorism

Perspectives &  subfields ss

Skinner’s view of behavior is most often characterized as a “molecular” view of behavior that is, behavior can be decomposed into atomistic parts or molecules. This view is inconsistent with Skinner’s complete description of behavior as delineated in other works, including his 1981 article “Selection by Consequences”. Skinner proposed that a complete account of behavior requires understanding of selection history at three levels: biology behavior and for some species, culture . This whole organism then interacts with its environment. Molecular behaviorists use notions from melioration theory, negative power function discounting or additive versions of negative power function discounting.

Molar behaviorists, such as Howard Rachlin, Richard Herrnstein, and William Baum, argue that behavior cannot be understood by focusing on events in the moment. That is, they argue that behavior is best understood as the ultimate product of an organism’s history and that molecular behaviorists are committing a fallacy by inventing fictitious proximal causes for behavior. Molar behaviorists argue that standard molecular constructs, such as “associative strength”, are better replaced by molar variables such as rate of reinforcement. Thus, a molar behaviorist would describe “loving someone” as a pattern of loving behavior over time there is no isolated, proximal cause of loving behavior, only a history of behaviors that can be summarized as “love”.

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How To Help Other People To Learn

Becoming more aware of your own strengths and preferences helps you to appreciate and cater for the diverse ways in which others learn, too.

For example, when you’re giving a presentation, chairing a meeting, or leading a training session, avoid leaning too heavily on the approach that you would enjoy yourself.

Remember that some learners will benefit from visual aids, while others will rely on listening to what you say, or on watching your body language. Back up abstract theories with real-life examples. Spend time discussing small details as well as outlining large-scale ideas.

You can’t always cater for everyone, but you can better engage your audience by allowing for different approaches to learning. If nothing else, your varied approach will keep people energized and alert!

Key Points

“Learning Styles” theories attempted to define people by how they learn based on individual strengths, personal preferences, and other factors such as motivation and favored learning environment.

Many different Learning Styles models were developed, but even the most popular ones have now been called into question. The main criticisms are that they are unscientific, inflexible, and ineffective in practice.

However, it’s still worth using metacognition “thinking about thinking” to work out what does help you to learn. That way, you can play to your strengths, develop any weaker areas, and create the best conditions for learning.

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