What do we mean when we say learning? Learning is usually understood to mean the acquisition of some kind of knowledge or skill either through its study, by practice or even by experience. There are different domains of learning, such as cognitive, affective and psychomotor.

Cognitive usually includes intellectual development. For example, acquiring knowledge in the form of mathematical applications, geography, literature, etc. is cognitive learning. Affective learning includes feelings, values, attitudes, and the like. This would involve inculcating skills to cope with certain situations, stress, emotions, developing the right attitude, etc., mostly through experience. The psychomotor domain refers to picking up skills like riding a bicycle or swimming by learning both at the level of the physical attributes as well as the motor.

One can learn through several methods. One such way is habituation. Habituation is where the response to a stimulus gradually decreases with repeated exposure to that stimulus. In this case, an individual is habituated or made to get used to a particular stimulus by repeatedly being faced with it. For example, studies show that the shock response of an individual to the sight of a cut, gradually decreases when the person is presented with it many times over.

Imprinting learning is another mode of learning. This can be explained by when a child, for instance, learns certain behavioural characteristics from his or her parent by watching and associating. This kind of learning is normally free of the knowledge of consequences and is said to be phase-related, which means that it is likely to occur during a particular phase in one’s life. Imprinting is highly visible in certain species of fledglings; for example, ducks.


A young girl learns to read with her mother

The transfer of knowledge is another crucial concept when it comes to analysis and studies on learning.

The transfer of knowledge is another crucial concept when it comes to analysis and studies on learning. Knowledge transfer essentially refers to the transfer of what has been learned in one context to another similar context, when the need arises. The study of understanding patterns and behaviours is an extremely fascinating and important field, which can be used in the context of comprehending even larger political and social issues.

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