Neobehaviorists such as Tolman dispute the importance of reinforcements in learning and argue that learning can take place with or without them. Learning takes place when individuals develop cognitive maps hence decide what behavior is appropriate at a certain situation. However, subjects require motivation in order to exhibit the learned behavior. These theories are crucial in understanding how learning takes place in real life.
All behavior can be explained without the need to consider internal mental states or consciousness. Such is the view held by the behaviorist learning theories such as classical conditioning, operant conditioning, and neobehaviorism though neobehaviorists have tended to move towards use of mental processes (Lieberman, 2012). Behaviorism is based on the belief that behavior is learned through interaction with the environment. behavior shapes and is shaped by the environment. John Watson, recognized as the father of behaviorism once said that he can transform any child to whatever he wants it to become in future since a child’s mind is like an empty slate (Hergenhahn, 2009). Though these learning theories agree on the role played by environment in shaping learning, they differ in their underpinning principles. The purpose of this paper is thus to explain, compare, and contrast the major principles associated with each theory.
The paper will discuss these behavior theories and their application to real world learning environment. First the paper will discuss the major principles associated with each theory. This will be done by comparing and contrasting the principles of each theory with the others. Secondly, it will explain the contributions of major theorists and how each theory accounts for mental processes associated with learning. Thirdly, the paper will describe how the theories explain how permanent change in behavior takes place and finally, how the theories can be applied in real world learning environment.