Author: W. David Pierce, Carl D. Cheney
Publisher: 3rd Edition (January 1, 2003)
Learning refers to the acquisition, maintenance, and change of an organism’s behavior as a result of lifetime events. The behavior of an organism is everything it does, including covert actions like thinking and feeling. (See section on assumptions in this chapter.) An important aspect of human learning concerns the experiences arranged by other people. From earliest history, people have acted to influence the behavior of other individuals. Rational argument, rewards, bribes, threats, and force are used in attempts not only to promote learning but also to change the behavior of people. Within society, people are required to learn socially appropriate ways of doing things. As long as a person does what is expected, no one pays much attention. As soon as a person’s conduct substantially departs from cultural norms, other people get upset and try to force conformity. All societies have codes of conduct and laws that people learn; people who break moral codes or laws face penalties ranging from minor fines to capital punishment. Clearly, all cultures are concerned with human learning and the regulation of human conduct.
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