Experience can shape our behavior and personality. More over our experiences contribute to our development over time. Learning process occurs when we experience situation that have negative or positive effect on us. In this essay I will briefly describe my personal learning experience; I will also define the concept of learning, and will provide analysis of what I have learned from this experience. In addition my essay will include the analysis and application of classical and operant conditioning as well as cognitive- social learning.
My Experience Every person’s identity is formed by the various roles that they perform in the world. In fact becoming a mother is one more such role and it has psychological implications. Four month ago I became a mother to a wonderful, my first baby boy. The experience of giving birth, as well as being home with a newborn for the first few weeks was overwhelming, painful, and emotionally tiring. I am 25 years old and was so exciting to becoming a mother, however when my son was born for the first few weeks I have experienced anxiety, stress, depression, fear and even anger.
It has been almost 4 month and my baby is my life, I cannot imagine how I was getting frustrated and feeling all those things when my baby is my joy. Today I am still tired, and stressed, however anger and depression is gone. I have learned from this experience that I need to accept the change in my life, and avoid becoming frustrated. Being prepared for things to be different could have prepared me to deal with situation differently. Also positive attitude should have been my best ally instead of being afraid and having negative thoughts.
At last I have learned from this experience that I need to try to develop a new and balanced lifestyle that takes into consideration all areas of my new life. Learning Learning is the process whereby knowledge is created through the transformation of experience (David A. Kolb, 1984). As we learn, we alter the way we perceive our environment, the way we interpret the incoming stimuli, and therefore the way we interact, or behave (Carpenter & Huffman, 2012). Learning through Classical Conditioning One of the best-known characteristics of behavioral learning theory is classical conditioning.
Classical conditioning is a learning process that occurs through associations between an environmental stimulus and a naturally occurring stimulus (Carpenter & Huffman, 2012). There are basic principles of classical conditioning process. Such as the unconditioned stimulus (UC) and unconditioned response (UR), as well as conditioned stimulus (CS) and conditioned response (CR) (Carpenter & Huffman, 2012). The unconditioned stimulus is one that unconditionally, naturally, and automatically triggers a response (“The propositional nature of human associative learning,” 2009).
For example, baby crying made me feel sad and frustrated, and baby smiling made me feel loved, happy and positive. For instance, when I saw my bay for the first time the feeling of pain was simply gone. As I spend those first weeks with my baby although I have had mood swings and feeling of anger sometimes, however every time I looked at my baby I naturally felt better and calmer. The unconditioned response is the unlearned response that occurs naturally in response to the unconditioned stimulus. For example, feel of love in response to my baby smile is unconditioned stimulus.
The conditioned stimulus is previously neutral stimulus that, after becoming associated with the unconditioned stimulus, eventually comes to trigger a conditioned response (“The propositional nature of human associative learning,” 2009). For example, when my baby cried I felt frustration and in the same time my husband was trying to explain me something thus my husband voice would be conditioned stimulus. Although the sound of my husband voice is unrelated to my baby’s cry and feeling of frustration, if the sound of his voice was paired multiple times with the baby’s cry, the sound would eventually trigger the conditioned response.
The conditioned response is the learned response to the previously neutral stimulus. For instance, feeling frustrated when I heard my husband talking to me. In my view classical conditioning is a useful technique that can be applied by creating a positive environment to help people to overcome anxiety, fear and frustration. For example, a situation like my baby’s crying with pleasant surroundings would have helped me to learn new associations. Instead of feeling anxious, frustrated and angry in that situation, I learn to stay relax and calm (Carpenter & Huffman, 2012).
Operant Conditioning Operant conditioning is a technique of learning that happens through rewards and punishments for behavior. Through operant conditioning, an association is made between a behavior and a consequence for that behavior (“The propositional nature of human associative learning,” 2009). The elimination of an undesirable outcome can be used to decrease or prevent undesirable behavior. Feeling frustrated, being angry with situation simply led to more stress and created more problems for myself emotionally and physically.
Positive reinforcement: Getting to know my baby, his first smile and lough created a positive and happy environment thus increasing my positive behavior. To conclude learning process revolves around human life. People learn something new every single day, thus creating new experiences and knowledge. Self-development and growth naturally occurs through learning.