Chapter 6 Learning

How do we learn? How do the things we learn help us to survive and successfully interact with our environment? In this session, we will examine different types of learning, from classical conditioning to more complex models of learning, and how they fit into our everyday lives. Related concepts like learned helplessness and delayed gratification will also be examined.

Keywords: classical conditioning, operant conditioning, Ivan Pavlov, extinction, generalization, Little Albert, learned helplessness, E. L. Thorndike, delayed gratification

Session Activities


Read the following before watching the lecture video.

One of the following textbook chapters:

Further Study

These optional resources are provided for students that wish to explore this topic more fully.

Summary videos of the chapters: Watch video 8 for this chapter

MIT psych 101 video lecture on Learning

How to Train a Brain:  I’m sure you’ve heard of Pavlov’s Bell (and I’m not talking about the Aimee Mann song), but what was Ivan Pavlov up to, exactly? And how are our brains trained? And what is a “Skinner Box”? All those questions and more are answered in today’s Crash Course Psychology, in which Hank talks about some of the aspects of learning.
The Bobo BeatdownHow we learn by observation… and how that can mean beating the tar out of an inanimate clown named Bobo.
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