1. “ You cannot teach a man anything. You can
only help him discover it within himself.”
“ You cannot give fish to a man everyday. But if
you teach how to fish, he will have fish
2. “Learning can be defined as relatively
permanent change in behaviour the potentiality
that results from reinforced practice or
experience. - Steers & Porter.
“Learning is any relatively permanent change in
behaviour that occurs as a result of experience.
- Stephen Robbins.
In simple words, learning is a change in
behaviour acquired through experience.
3. Learning can be defined as a “relatively permanent
change in behaviour or potential behaviour as a
result of direct or indirect experience”.
There are two primary elements in this definition
that must both be present in order to identify the
process of learning.
4. First is the element that the change must be
relatively permanent. This means that after
“learning” our behaviour must be different,
either better or worse as compared to our
behaviour prior to this experience of learning.
The second aspect of the definition is that this
change must occur due to some kind of
experience or practice. This learning is not
caused by biological maturation.
5. 1) Learning is an inferred process that is
believed to influence behaviour.
2) Learning results in a relatively permanent
change in behaviour. Behaviour that is learnt,
therefore, is relatively constant over time.
3) Learning involves change, it may be good
4) Learning comes from some form of experience.
Experience may be acquired directly through
practice or observation or through reading.
6. 5) Learning is source of change in behaviour and
6) Learning is continuous process. It has the
ability to respond adequately to a situation that
may or may not have been encountered. It is not
restricted to the schooldays but it is a lifelong
7) Learning is the outcome of various related
factors. The important factors that determine
learning are motive, stimuli, response,
reinforcement and retention.
7. There are five general approaches to learning that
They are :–
i) Classical Conditioning Theory,
ii) Instrumental or Operant Conditioning
iii) Cognitive Learning Theory,
iv) Selective Learning Theory and
v) Social Learning theory.
8. Ivan Pavlov, a Russian physiologist owes credit
for developing this theory. He conducted an
experiment on dogs and developed a stimulus-
response connection. This means that certain
responses can be predicted which continuously
result from certain induced stimuli. Classical
conditioning introduces a simple cause-and-effect
relationship between one stimulus and one
9. It also makes the response reflexive or
involuntary after the stimulus-response
relationship has been established. This leaves no
ground for making choices, which differentiates
human beings from dogs. Under certain
situations classical conditioning does explain
10. Operant conditioning is concerned with learning
that occurs as a consequence of behaviour. It
focuses on the effects of reinforcements or
rewards on desired behaviours. This learning is
based on the simple fact that “the actions we
perform often result in some consequences”.
11. This theory was developed by Watson, a
contemporary of Pavlov. He argued that
behaviour was largely influenced by the rewards
one received as result of actions. In other words,
we now know that people change their behaviour
by repeating acts that are rewarded and not
repeating acts that the environment fails to
12. Learning is considered as the outcome of
deliberate thinking about the problem or
situation both intuitively and based upon known
facts and responding in an objective and goal
oriented manner. Cognition, in fact, is the act of
knowing an item of information and this
knowledge affects the behaviour of the person so
that the information provides cognitive cues
towards the expected goal.
13. Selective learning theory is also cognitively based
but it is more directly aimed at learning. In
selective learning the person must not only
associate stimulus and response and consequence
experiences but must also determine which
things to connect in the mind. Under this
approach, a person chooses from a wide variety
of possible leaning mechanisms.
14. It involves a complex interaction among
thinking, emotions, perception and motivation.
Thus, there are many cognitions that come into
play in selective learning. This theory is also
named as “insightful learning and perceptual
learning”. This is applied in relation to
complicated learning tasks.
15. It is recognized that learning does not take place
only because of environmental stimuli (classical and
operant conditioning) or of individual determinism
(cognitive approach) but is a blend of both views. It
also emphasizes that people acquire new behaviour
by observing or imitating others in a social setting.
In addition learning can also be gained by discipline
and self-control and an inner desire to acquire
knowledge or skills irrespective of the external
rewards or consequences. This process of self-
control is also partially a reflection of societal and
cultural influences on the development and growth
of human beings.
16. There are many widely recognised principles of
learning that can assist the manager attempting to
influence behaviour. Some of these are principles
iii) Avoidance Learning
v) Knowledge of results
vi) Schedules of Positive Reinforcement
vii) Acquisition - Learning curves
viii) Spontaneous Recovery
17. Reinforcement plays a significant role in the
learning theories. It is defined as any event that
alters the probability of occurrence of a response.
It is anything that both increases the strength of
responses and tends to induce repetitions of the
behaviour that preceded the reinforcement. It is
the process by which stimuli strengthen
18. Punishment is defined presenting an
uncomfortable consequence for a particular
behavioural response. It is used to decrease the
frequency of undesired behaviour. The difference
between punishment and negative reinforcement
is that in the former case, a noxious consequence
is applied to decrease the frequency of undesired
behaviour, whereas in the latter, a noxious
consequence is withheld when a desired
behaviour is exhibited.
19. Avoidance learning is the seeking to avoid an
unpleasant condition or outcome by following a
desired behaviour. In other words, when
behaviour can prevent an uncomfortable
stimulus it is called avoidance behaviour. For
example, if an employee correctly performs a
task so that the supervisor may avoid harassing
the employee. Similarly, in order to avoid he
discomfort the employee may achieve the group
sanctioned level of production.
20. Extinction is non-reinforcement that leads to an
„extinction‟ of undesired behaviour. When the
positive reinforcement for a learned response is
withheld, the undesired behaviour decreases and
will eventually disappear. Thus, the decline in
response rate as a result of a lack of positive
reinforcement is called extinction.
For example, if an employee is consistently late,
the supervisor may withhold praise. Thus , the
employee may realise that being late is not
leading to desired outcomes and may try to be
21. Human behaviour is always a goal-directed behaviour.
Knowing goals and their results leads to learning and
behaviour modification. Employees who have no idea
o whether they are doing an acceptable job have little
chance to improve their performances. The knowledge
of correct behaviour is reinforcing and strengthens the
Edwin Locke found in his research studies that
feedback affects performance only to the extent to
which employees set higher performance goals in
response to such feedback. Thus, goals can be
achieved when employees are provided with accurate
feedback on performance.
22. There are number of ways in which
reinforcements can be scheduled. A continuous
schedule is one in which reinforcement occurs
after every acceptable behaviour. But this is not
Bass and Vaughn have concluded that “learning
is more permanent when correct behaviour is
rewarded only part of the time”.
Fester and Skinner have presented four types of
reinforcements schedules for operant learning
23. These curves apply mainly to classical
conditioning. This principle shows that there is a
gradually increasing strength of response for
each repeated trial. Psychologist have shown the
practical significance of these curves to the
learning in the following ways :
a) The more unfamiliar the task to be learned,
the more likely it is that progress will be slow at
the start and will then increase.
24. b) In most learning of complicated skills, there is
at least one period, short or long. In which each
new trial produces an improvement o equal size.
c) As we approach the ultimate limit of learning,
progress slows down and it takes many trials to
produce even a small amount of improvement..
25. Again this principle is related to classical
conditioning concept. This indicates that if people
experience a sequence of non reinforced
conditioned responses and then take a rest,
immediately thereafter they will return to a more
intense level of conditioned response even though
no reinforcement has taken place. This jump in
response strength following rest is known as the
notion of spontaneous recovery. This principle
explains that the conditioned response does not
completely disappear during extinction, but
26. i) All human beings can learn.
ii) An individual must be motivated to
iii) Learning is active but not passive.
iv) Learners acquire knowledge more
rapidly with guidance.
v) Time must be provided to practice
vi) Learning methods should be varied.
vii) Standards of performance should be
set for the learners.
27. viii) Different levels of learning exist.
ix) Learning is a cumulative process.
x) Learning is closely related to
attention and concentration.
xi) Trainees learn better when they
learn at their own place.
xii) Make the learning meaningful by
using familiar examples and
xiii) When the learner has made the
correct responses to the learning
process, he has learned.-G.S.Sudha.
28. The important factors that determine learning are:
i) Motive or drive
ii) Stimuli :- a) Generalisation
29. Motives refer to certain goals that the individual
attempts to achieve. They are primary energisers
of behaviour. Motives prompt people to action.
They are largely subjective and represent the
mental feelings of human beings. They are the
ways o behaviour and main springs of action.
Motive arises continuously and determines the
general direction of an individual‟s behaviour.
30. Stimuli exists in the environment in which a
person lives. Stimuli increase the probability of
extracting a specific response from a person.
Stimuli may be two types :
31. GENERALISATION takes place when the
similar stimulus repeats in the environment.
When two stimuli are exactly the same, they will
have the probability to extract a specific
DISCRIMINATION has wide applications in
organisational behaviour in view of individuals
differences. In discrimination, responses of the
individuals vary according to different stimuli.
For example. A supervisor may respond to a high
producing worker in a positive manner, but in a
different manner to one producing very less.
32. The stimulus generates response. The response
may be in the physical form or in terms of
attitudes or perception. However, the responses
need to be operationally defined and preferably
The response of the individuals is termed as „
behaviour „. The response may be either positive
33. Reinforcement is a primary condition of
learning. Reinforcement is, anything that
increases the strength of response and tends to
induce repetitions of the behaviour that precede
the reinforcement. Without reinforcement no
quantifiable alteration of behaviour will take
place. Reinforcement helps in the repetition of
For example. If an employee is rewarded for his
hard work, he repeats his behaviour, i.e. he
works harder to get the reward again.
34. The learned behaviour should be retrieved
according to the needs. Retention means
remembrance of learned behaviour over time.
Learning which is forgotten over time is called
When response behaviour returns without any
intervening reinforcement, it is called