Learning refers to an enduring change in the mechanisms of behavior involving specific stimuli and/or responses that results from prior experience with similar stimuli and responses. Learning also refers to any relatively permanent change in behavior or behavioral potential that can be attributed to experience and practice or that results from one's experiences or practice.


Learning in psychology refers to the process of acquiring knowledge or skills through experience, practice, study, or instruction. It involves a change in behavior or understanding as a result of these experiences. Learning can occur consciously or unconsciously and can be influenced by a variety of factors such as motivation, reinforcement, and cognitive abilities. It is a fundamental aspect of human development and plays a crucial role in shaping an individual's thoughts, feelings, and actions.

Application Areas

  • Educational psychology
  • Clinical psychology
  • Organizational psychology
  • Behavioral psychology

Treatment and Risks

  • Psychotherapy
  • Behavioral interventions
  • Risks of negative reinforcement leading to maladaptive behaviors
  • Overreliance on rote memorization rather than deep understanding


  • Classical conditioning, as demonstrated by Pavlov's experiments with dogs
  • Operant conditioning, as studied by B.F. Skinner with his work on reinforcement
  • Cognitive learning, as shown in problem-solving tasks or language acquisition

Similar Concepts and Synonyms

  • Acquisition
  • Adaptation
  • Knowledge acquisition
  • Information processing


Learning in psychology is the process through which individuals acquire new knowledge or skills through experiences and practice. It is influenced by various factors such as motivation, reinforcement, and cognitive abilities. Learning plays a crucial role in human development, shaping thoughts, feelings, and actions. It can occur consciously or unconsciously and is essential for understanding behavior and cognitive processes. Overall, learning is a complex and dynamic process that is central to the field of psychology.


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