Cognitive Learning Theory

Cognitive Learning Theory

There are various aspects of the Cognitive Learning Theory (CLT) all of which are important to consider when studying the cognition of individuals.

Origin of cognitive learning theory

The CLT is credited to Educational Psychologist, Jean Piaget, and is useful in the analysis of the relationship between mental processes and factors, both internal and external.

The behaviorist theory is juxtaposed by the CLT as it has a single focus on observable behavior. Whereas the CLT pays attention to what the way of the learner’s mind and how it dictates behavior.

The cognitive learning process is based on individuals cognitively processing input to result in a behaviour. Mental processes have a plethora of elements, such as:

  • Organizing
  • Interpreting
  • Categorizing
  • Attention
  • Observing
  • Forming generalizations.

Cognitive Learning Theory
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The theory is broken down into two further theories: the Cognitive Behavioral Theory (CBT) and the Social Cognitive Theory (SCT). What’s the difference?

Cognitive Learning Theory Definition

Cognitive Behavioral Theory refers to the role of cognition in the behavioral pattern of individuals. By formulating self-concepts of the individual’s own accord, their behavior is directly affected. The concepts can be based on extrinsic or intrinsic factors, both positive or negative.

The Cognitive Triad is a major component of CBT, further dissecting how negative thoughts impact human behavior.

  1. The Self
  2. The World/Environment
  3. The Future.

Social Cognitive Theory (SCT)

In the Social Cognitive Theory, three factors are taken into account:

  1. Behavioral factors
  2. Environmental factors (extrinsic)
  3. Personal factors (intrinsic).

Cognitive Learning Theory

Fig. 2. Three Factors of SCT (Pajares, 2002)

The combination of all three factors results in an effective learning experience. It also includes various basic concepts which manifest in the learner.

  1. Observational Learning: This type of learning refers to the ability of individuals to gain knowledge through the observation of others’ behaviour.
  2. Reproduction: Increasing the repetition of a behaviour increases the chance of greater knowledge retention. This is achieved through putting the learner in a comfortable environment with relevant and easily accessible materials to learn and practice.
  3. Self-Efficacy: This occurs when newly absorbed knowledge is put into practice.
  4. Emotional Coping: Effective coping mechanisms in stressful situations are useful for successful learning.
  5. Self-Regulatory Capability: This refers to the ability of individuals to control behavior in a potentially unfavorable environment.

We have explored a range of learning theory in our research, including microlearning theory, andragogy theory, and cognitive dissonance theory.

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The Peak Performance Centre