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Since the ancient Greeks, Philosophers argued over whether Nature or Nurture has a more profound impact on development as human beings. Are we destined to be whom we are simply because we are born that way? Or, as John Locke suggests, are we blank slates upon which experience writes our personality?
The Learning Perspective embodies the nature argument, suggesting not only that our experiences determine who we are, but that those experiences can be carefully shaped to create us in a specific way.

Key Theorists
	John Watson
	BF Skinner
	Albert Bandura
	Ivan Pavlov
	Edward Tolman
	Edward Thorndikehttp://fates.cns.muskingum.edu/%7Epsych/psycweb/history/watson.htmhttp://www.behavenet.com/capsules/people/bfskinner.htmhttp://tip.psychology.org/bandura.htmlhttp://www.pbs.org/wgbh/aso/databank/entries/bhpavl.htmlhttp://fates.cns.muskingum.edu/%7Epsych/psycweb/history/tolman.htm#Theoryhttp://www.psy.pdx.edu/PsiCafe/KeyTheorists/Thorndike.htmshapeimage_7_link_0shapeimage_7_link_1shapeimage_7_link_2shapeimage_7_link_3shapeimage_7_link_4shapeimage_7_link_5
Key concepts
	Classical Conditioning
	Operant Conditioning
	Social Learning
	Related Linkhttp://chiron.valdosta.edu/whuitt/col/behsys/classcnd.htmlhttp://www.biozentrum.uni-wuerzburg.de/genetics/behavior/learning/behaviorism.htmlhttp://tip.psychology.org/bandura.htmlhttp://www.ibpsychology.com/Learning.htm#shapeimage_9_link_0shapeimage_9_link_1shapeimage_9_link_2shapeimage_9_link_3
"Psychology as the behaviorist views it," Watson wrote, "is a purely objective experimental branch of natural science. Its theoretical goal is the prediction and control of behavior. Introspection forms no essential part of its methods, nor is the scientific value of its data dependent on the readiness with which they lend themselves to interpretation in terms of consciousness."
From the IB
The Learning Perspective Introduction Learning can be regarded as a hypothetical construct—a process that cannot be directly observed, but that can be inferred from observable behaviour. The study of how human beings learn has been dominated by behaviourism. Behaviourism developed simultaneously in Russia and in the United States, becoming a major force in psychology in the first part of the 20th century. Traditional behaviourists believed that all organisms learn in the same way, and that all learning could be explained by the processes of classical and operant conditioning. Psychologists working within this perspective have investigated the ways in which behaviour changes, usually using laboratory experiments and often using non-human animals. The behaviourists, with their emphasis on environmental factors, focused on the situational aspects of behaviour. Behaviourists claim that behaviour is determined by environmental contingencies, and suggest that personality is the result of conditioning history. Many psychologists have portrayed behaviourist research as being reductionist and lacking in ecological validity. Alternative theories have been developed that challenge traditional learning theory. These alternative theories have put forward the idea that learning is more than a series of stimulus-response associations. Consequently, many psychologists have moved away from purely mechanistic assumptions about the origins of learning, and now include cognitive, biological and environmental factors in the highly complex set of behaviours that is involved in “learning”. Learning theories are influential in many areas of research and occupy an important role in psychology. Learning outcomes Students should expect questions asking them to:
  1. describe and evaluate the four content topics as they relate to the learning perspective
  2. describe and evaluate theories and empirical studies within this perspective
  3. explain, where appropriate, how cultural, ethical, gender and methodological considerations may affect the interpretation of behaviour from a learning perspective
  4. compare theories, empirical studies and the four content topics of this perspective with those from other perspectives
  5. dentify and explain the strengths and limitations of learning perspective explanations of behaviour
  6. explain the extent to which the concepts of free will and determinism relate to this perspective
  7. assess the extent to which learning can be explained by alternatives to traditional behaviourist approaches
  8. assess the extent to which cognitive and biological factors have been added to traditional explanations of behaviour within the learning perspective.
A little humor  
Learning Perspective