Learning & Training

Q. Distinguish between learning and training. Can we say training based on cognitive mechanisms is always better than training based on operant mechanism ?

The answer:

Difference between training and learning:

The concept of training and learning are related learning is very basic things. we learn simple associations in learning . Training basically aims at improving performance. it occurs on the basis of learning. No training can take place without learning. Training involves  tasks that often have involvement of multiple learned associations.

Take for example the training of driving skills.  here learners learn how to change gear, how to apply brake ,how to stop at the red light etc. The aim of the training is to enhance performance but the performance  could be improved only when  one is capable to learn . Training enhances efficiency by controlling error through repeated practice.

Operant mechanism provides big scope for training .Reinforcement/ punishment arrangement shape behavior  suitably. Even a rat can learn complex behaviours when the trainer applies the technique of shaping and chaining which is basically based on operant conditioning mechanism

But we cannot apply this technique when behaviour to be learn is very risky. While training driving skills trainer can’t​ afford to provide reinforcement and punishment on the right and wrong behaviour only. He would prefer to demonstrate how to perform the correct behaviour. The learner cognitively observe and imitate those behaviours and very soon become capable to perform the trained behaviour independently.

Clearly operant mechanism is a good mechanism to impart training. Training ,however, is well imparted through cognitive mechanisms also . we have no evidence and reasons to claim that cognitive mechanism is always superior. To train animals, very young children, insane people with the help of cognitive mechanism often fail. For these conditioning mechanism are often more superior.

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