Showing posts with label Educational Psychology. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Educational Psychology. Show all posts

Saturday, 25 February 2017

What are the "Factors of Learning"?

What are the "Factors of Learning"?

Factors of Learning

There are various factors that assist the process of learning among human beings. These factors can be divided into the following categories:

Psychological Factors:

These are the most important factors in the process of learning. It includes the following factors:
  • Generalization: When an individual goes through many similar and comparable experiences, he/she discerns the common element among them. On this basis, he/she formulates a general rule that has considerable influence on his/her future conduct.
  • Facilitation: It is an important factor in learning because it is human tendency to learn activities that are simple and interesting.
  • Differentiation: An individual distinguishes between dissimilar objects or compares them in such a manner to bring dissimilarity.
  • Inhibition: It is an obstructive psychological element or factor in learning. In this, some psychological elements provide obstruction in the learning process.
  • Integration: It helps to improve one’s insight into the subjects already learnt.
Physiological Factors:

Learning is more a psycho-physiological process than a purely psychological one. Following are the important physiological factors in learning:

·     Fatigue: In a state of fatigue, the individual’s capacity to learn is considerably reduced and all that is learnt is also easily forgotten.
·      Drugs and intoxicants: These are the obstacles in the process of learning.
·     Diseases: Disease, whether it is physical or mental, obstructs learning as it reduces the capacity to grasp and learn.
·  Excited Physical Condition: An excited bodily state, arising out of emotion cause difficulty in learning.
·   Difference in Age and Maturity: Before any particular activity can be acquired, it is necessary to attain a particular level of maturity that can only come at a particular age level.

Physical Factors:

The physical factors have also some importance in the learning process. For example, high and low temperature, noise, and amount of humidity, all these conditions influence the process of learning.

Social Factors:

Man is a social animal and all his activities are influenced by the social conditions, for example, imitation, suggestion, sympathy, praise, competition, and cooperation. All these factors influence the learning process.

What are the "Methods of Learning"?

Methods of Learning

The principal forms or methods of learning are learning through imitation, learning through conditioned response, learning through trial and error, and learning through insight.

Learning through Imitation:

Learning through imitation is one of the most important forms of learning. It is generally observed that children imitate the behavior, habits, manners and ways of adults. In imitation, the learning exactly copies the behavior of anther person without understanding or thinking.

The main characteristics of learning through imitation are the following:
·         The imitator never does it before imitation, but performs the activity only after seeing it
·         In imitation, learner exactly copies the activity performed before him/her (learner)

Learning through Conditioned Response:

It is one of the most important methods of learning, especially for children. In childhood, many of the responses of the child are conditioned to particular objects and even when the individual becomes an adult, his conditioned response continues.

Learning through Trial and Error:

The method of trial and error is used in the following circumstances:
  • This method is used when the learner is completely motivated and can see the goal clearly. Motivation as well as the presence of the goal is necessary for awakening the response in learning through trial and error.
  • The method of trial and error is used when the learner fails to find the solution of the problem. It is only when he/she fails to find out the solution of the problem that he/she proceeds blindly, tries in various directions, commits errors, eliminates them, and finally arrives at a successful response
  • The method of trial and error is used when perception alone or learned activities are not sufficient.
Learning through Insight:

The insight method of learning is superior to the methods of imitation and conditioned response, because both the latter methods (imitation and conditioned response) take more time.

Students will be permanently helped by the use of insight method of learning in place of trial and error methods in their studies and other activities.

There are many characteristics of learning through insight. These are as follows:
Insight is sudden
  • Insight alters perception
  • Old objects appear in new patterns and organization by virtue of insight
  • Insight is relative to the intellectual level
  • Previous experiences and maturity also effects insight

Maturation and Learning:

The learner’s stage of maturity is important in the learning process. Until and unless, there is sufficient physiological maturity, there will be little learning.

For example, the child learns to walk only after he has reached a particular stage. He learns to read more easily only after he has reached his individual state of readiness for reading.

Rate of maturation varies from individual to individual. Automatic activity, random acts, reflexes and instincts and sudden expressions of emotions can be accepted as unlearned actions and the result of maturation.

What is “Learning”?

What is Learning?
When we hear the word learning, most of us think of studying and school. The matter of the fact is that learning is not limited to school. We learn everyday of our lives. Babies learn to kick their legs, teenagers learn cycling or lyrics of their favorite song, middle-aged people learn to change their diet patters.
In the light of all these examples, it can be inferred that learning occurs when experience causes a relatively permanent change in an individual’s knowledge and behavior. Learning is a change that takes place through practice or experience, changes due to growth or maturation.
It is worth mentioning here that the change might be deliberate or unintentional; but the change must be relatively permanent; it must be for a long time.
In other words, learning is the acquisition of habits, knowledge and attitudes. It involves new ways of doing things. When learning occurs, a more or less permanent change is experienced in the learner’s behavior.
Learning is an active process that needs to be stimulated and guided towards desirable outcomes. External stimuli that induce learning include, particularly the influence of the teacher through the assignments he/she makes, the questions he/she asks, the visual aids and other procedures that he/she utilizes to arouse learning interest and activity.

Definitions of Learning:

The following definitions have been given from different perspectives. These are:

1. Learning is a Change in Behavior:
According to J.P. Guilford, “Learning is any change in behavior, resulting from behavior”. In this definition, a distinction between change in behavior due to maturity and change in behavior due to learning is not clear; though both these activities take place simultaneously.

2. Learning is an Organization of Behavior:
According to Garrett, “Learning is that activity by virtue of which we organize our response with new habits.” In the light of this definition, it is evident that the element of organization in learning is very much important. For example, in learning to ride a cycle, we have to organize the activities of turning the pedal, balancing the handle, etc. in order to be reasonably safe with the vehicle. Learning of the activity of cycling will be complete, only when he/she accomplishes this organization.

3. Learning is the Reinforcement of the New Activity:
Learning of a new activity is an addition to the person’s store of experience. Reinforcement too is an vital element in the act of learning; it helps in forming only successful responses and weeding out the unsuccessful one. According to R. S. Woodworth, “An activity may be called learning in so far as it develops the individual in any way, good or bad and makes his environment and experiences different from what it would otherwise have been.”

Characteristics of Learning:
  • Learning is growth
  • Learning is purposeful
  • Learning is intelligent
  • Learning is both individual and social
  • Learning affects the conduct of the learner
  • Learning is adjustment
  • Learning is experience
  • Learning is active

Friday, 17 February 2017

What is “Classical Conditioning”?

Classical Conditioning
Classical Conditioning
When you are pinched, you feel pain; you react in some way that is unlearned. For example, someone flashes a light and then he/she pinches you; if he/she does this for several times, you come to feel a facsimile of the pain when the light is flashed before you are pinched or even you are not pinched. This latter reaction is a learned reaction. Psychologists explain this (learned reaction) in terms of conditioning a simple form of learning.

Conditioning is of two types:

1. Classical Conditioning
2. Instrumental Conditioning or Operant Conditioning.

Classical Conditioning:

Classical conditioning is a form of learning in which two stimuli are presented together and the response originally elicited by one of them comes to be elicited by the other stimulus. It has its origin in the experiments of Russian Psychologist I. P. Pavlov who is known primarily for his work in classical conditioning.
Pavlov, who was born on 26th September 1849, encountered the phenomenon of conditioning during his studies on the digestive process for which he was awarded the Nobel Prize in 1904. Thus, Pavlov became the first Russian Nobel laureate. After the completion of his doctorate, Pavlov went to Germany to study at Leipzig.
The food causes a particular reaction, the salivation. A stimulus can be defined as any object, event or experience that causes a response. Food is a natural stimulus to evoke salivation in dog; for example, in the case of Pavlov’s dogs, the food is the stimulus and salivation is the response.
At the beginning of his experiments, Pavlov began by a sound of bell and recording a dog’s response. As expected, there was no salivation. At this point, the bell was a “Neutral Response” because it brought forth no salivation.
Then, Pavlov fed the dog, the response was salivation. The food was an “Unconditioned Stimulus” (US) because no prior training or conditioning was needed to establish the connection between food and salivation. In this case, the salivation was an “Unconditioned Response”, because it occurred automatically without any conditioning.
Using these three—the food, the salivation, and the bell, Pavlov demonstrated that a dog could be conditioned to salivate after hearing the bell. He did this by pairing of sound of bell with the food. At the beginning of the experiments, he sounded the bell and then quickly fed the dog. After Pavlov repeated this several times, the dog began to salivate after hearing the sound of bell, but before receiving the food. Here, the sound became a “Conditioned Stimulus” (CS) that could bring forth salivation by itself. The response of salivating was called a “Conditioned Response” (CR).

Elements of Classical Conditioning:

Pavlov identified several key elements that must be present for conditioning to take place. Following are the key elements:
Unconditioned Stimulus (US): It is the original naturally occurring stimulus which leads to reflex or involuntary response. In case of Pavlov’s dogs, food is the unconditioned stimulus.
Unconditioned Response (UR): It is the reflex response to the unconditioned stimulus. In case of Pavlov’s experiment, salivation to food is the unconditioned response.
Conditioned Stimulus (CS): Pavlov determined that almost any kind of stimulus could get associated with the unconditioned stimulus. In case of Pavlov’s experiment, bell was the neutral stimulus because it had no effect on salivation. After being paired with food, so many times, the bell came to produce the same salivation response. The neutral stimulus can now be called conditioned stimulus.
Conditioned Response: It is a learned response to the previously neutral stimulus that has changed into conditioned stimulus. In case of Pavlov’s experiment, the salivation on hearing the sound of bell is conditioned response.

Other Processes in Classical Conditioning:

Generalization: Pavlov discovered that if an animal is conditioned to salivate at the sound of a bell, it would salivate at the sound of a buzzer. The dog tended to generalize the conditioned response to other stimuli that were somewhat similar to the original conditioned stimulus. This process is called generalization, because the conditioned response of salivation generalized or occurred in the presence of similar stimuli.
Discrimination: It is the process of learning to make one response to one stimulus and a different response or no response to another stimulus. Pavlov could also teach the dogs discrimination; Pavlov trained the dogs to respond to one tone, but not to respond to other tones that are similar. Pavlov did so by making sure that food always followed only one tone, and not any others.
Extinction: It occurs when a conditioned stimulus (for example, bell) is presented repeatedly, but is not followed by the unconditional stimulus (such as, food). Then, the conditioned response (salivation) gradually fades away and finally it extinguished and disappears altogether. A response is set to be forgotten over time when there is no explicit procedure involved.

Thursday, 16 February 2017

"Theory of Fluid and Crystallised Intelligence" & "Triarchic Theory of Intelligence"

Theory of Fluid and Crystallised Intelligence:

This theory of intelligence was given by British-American psychologist Raymond Cattell. Raymond Cattell was born on 20th March 1905 at a small town near Birmingham in England. In 1937, he left England and moved to the United States of America. Cattell was invited by Edward Thorndike to come to Columbia University.
According to Raymond Cattell, there exists two major clusters of mental abilities—“fluid intelligence” and “crystallized intelligence”.

Fluid intelligence:

Fluid intelligence refers to the ability to think, use logic in new situations, solve new problems, and identify patterns. Activities that utilize fluid intelligence include learning, problem solving and pattern recognition. Fluid intelligence peaks during childhood and adolescence.

Crystallised Intelligence:

It refers to accumulated knowledge information we store over a lifetime of experience; in addition, the application of skills and knowledge to solving specific problems. It covers capacities that a person has acquired through knowledge and expertise.

Triarchic Theory of Intelligence:

Triarchic Theory of Intelligence
Triarchic Theory of Intelligence
Triarchic Theory of intelligence was proposed by Robert Sternberg in 1985. It attempts to understand the cognitive processes involved in solving problems.
Robert Sternberg stated that intelligence is the ability to adapt, to shape and select environment to accomplish one’s goals and those of one’s society and culture.

According to this theory, there are three basic types of human intelligence. These are “Componential Intelligence”, “Experiential Intelligence”, and “Contextual Intelligence”.

Componential Intelligence

Componential intelligence or analytical intelligence involved the ability to think critically and analytically. This intelligence has three components:
  1. Knowledge Acquisition Component: It refers to the meaningful acquisition of new information by relating the information to the prior knowledge existing in the memory.
  2. Meta Component: It refers to how one direct ones own thinking i.e., performance and knowledge acquisition components. It is the knowledge about one’s own thinking.
  3. Performance Component: It involves actually doing things. These are the processes that are used to perform a task or solve a problem. This component is the one that is measured by the intelligence tests. The performance component consists of “encoding”, “inferring”, “mapping”, and “response”.

Experiential Intelligence

This type of intelligence emphasizes insight and the ability to formulate new ideas. This is the kind of intelligence shown by many scientific geniuses and investors, such as Einstein Newton.  It focuses on the relationship between a person’s inner, mental world and the outer external world. This aspect is concerned with the effect of intelligence on one’s experiences as well as the effect of person’s interaction with the environment on intelligence. This view adds creativity (or novelty and originality) to the overall conception of intelligence. A creatively intelligent person may not particularly perform well on a test of intelligence, but is able to combine different experiences in uniquely original ways. A second aspect of experiential intelligence is the ability to make routine tasks that are encountered repeatedly.

Contextual Intelligence

 The third type of intelligence is the most interesting of all. Persons high on this dimension are intelligent in a practical, adaptive sense; they have what many would term street smart.  Such people remain practical or down to earth in life.

Wednesday, 15 February 2017

"Three Dimensional Theory of Guilford"; "Three-Factory Theory"; Theory of Primary Mental Abilities

Theory of Three-Dimensional Structure of Intellect:

Theory of Three-Dimensional Structure of Intellect
Theory of Three-Dimensional Structure of Intellect
The theory, which is perhaps the most comprehensive theory of intelligence, was developed by J. P. Guilford, an American psychologist who was involved during the Second World War in developing tests to select candidates for training as pilots. In 1938, Guilford took over the charge of the Psychometric Society as its third president, after its founder Louis Leon Thurstone and E. L. Thirndike who had earlier held the same position in the year 1937.

Guilford (born on 7th March 1897) refuted Charles Spearman’s view that intelligence could be characterized in a single numerical parameter. Guilford proposed a three-dimensional structure of intellect. According to Guilford, intellectual activity or traits has three dimensions—“Operations”, “Contents”, and “Product”.

“Operations” are what the respondent does. It refers to the particular cognitive process being used. These are cognition, memory, divergent production, convergent production, and evaluation.

“Contents” dimensions refer to the particular medium in which a person happens to be operating at the moment. It is the nature of materials or information on which intellectual operations are performed. These include visual, auditory, symbolic (such letters, numbers, etc.), semantic (for example, words), and behavioral.

“Product” dimension is the result of operations and contents. It includes units, classes, relations, systems, transformations and implications.

“Three-Factor Theory” or “Theory of Neural Connections”:

Edward L. Thorndike, an American psychologist born in the year 1874, differed sharply with Spearman. Thorndike, who ho spent nearly his entire career at Teachers College, Columbia University, asserted that there are no such things as general intelligence or general mental ability. 

Thorndike’s theory is based on the idea that intelligence is due to the number and kind of neural connections. Thus, a bright person has more neural connections of an adequate nature than a dull person. 

According to him, every mental act is different from the other. But there are common elements in all mental acts. Based on these common elements, he identified three components of intelligence. These three components are the following:
  • Concrete thinking (or the ability to deal with things)
  • Social thinking (or the ability to deal with people)
  • Abstract thinking (or the ability to deal with ideas)

Theory of Primary Mental Abilities:

The theory of primary mental abilities was propounded by T. G. Thurstone. According to Thurstone, intelligence is made up of seven components or seven primary mental abilities. These seven primary mental abilities are:

  • Space Factor: It is the ability to visualize objects in space. It is the ability, for example, to judge whether or not we have time and room to pass a car when another car is approaching in the other lane.
  • Number Factor: It is the ability to manipulate numbers (for example, making change, maintaining accounts, etc.). Accountants and cashiers are expected to be high on this ability.
  • Verbal Comprehension: It is the ability to read and understand what is read, interpret language and vocabularies.
  • Word Fluency: It is the ability to use words.
  • Ability to memorize:
  • Inductive Reasoning: It is the ability to discover the underlying rule or principle in the material one is working with. It is the ability to arrive at useful generalization from limited information.
  • Perceptual Speeds: It is the ability to identify objects quickly; the ability to understand entire sentence without having to examine each word carefully. It is the ability to comprehend the entire paragraph without looking at each sentence thoroughly.

"Two Factor Theory of Intelligence" and "Theory of Multiple Intelligence"

Two Factor Theory of Intelligence:

Charles Spearman
Charles Spearman
The two factor theory of intelligence was proposed by Charles Spearman (1927). According to him, intelligence consists of general (g) and specific (s) factor.

The theory maintained that all intellectual activities share a single common factor (called “g”) which is characterized as mental energy. “g” is considered responsible for relationship between different human activities. Positive correlations between any two factors were attributed to ‘g” factor.

In addition to “g”, this theory also postulates a number of specific factors “s”. Each specific factor is strictly specific to a single activity.

a single common factor (called “g”)
A single common factor (called “g”)

Theory of Multiple Intelligence:

The theory of multiple intelligence was proposed by Howard Gardner. According to this theory, intelligence is not a single entity; rather distinct types of intelligence exist. Each of these intelligences is independent of each other. This means that if a person exhibits one type of intelligence, it does not necessarily indicate being high or low on other types of intelligence.

Gardner also said that different types of intelligence interact and work together to find a solution to a problem. Gardner studied extremely talented persons, who had shown exceptional abilities in their respective areas and described eight types of intelligence. These are the following:

eight types of intelligence
Theory of Multiple Intelligence
  1. Linguistic: It is a kind of skills involved in the production and use of language. It is related to reading, writing, listening, talking, understanding, etc. This is the capacity to use language fluently and flexibly to express one' thinking and understand others. Persons high on this intelligence are word-smart. Such people are sensitive to different shades of word meanings, articulate and can create linguistic images in their mind. For example, poets and writers are very strong in this component of intelligence.
  2. Logical Mathematical: This type of skills is in scientific thinking and problem solving. It is type of intelligence which deals with abstract reasoning and manipulation of symbols involved in numerical problems. Person high on this type of intelligence can think logically and critically. It is exhibited in scientific work, for example, scientists and Nobel Prize winners are likely to be strong in this component of intelligence.
  3. Spatial: The skills which are used in forming visual images and patters. This kind of skill is used in intelligence which is used while navigating in space, forming, transforming and using mental images. The person high on this intelligence can easily represent the spatial world in the mind. Pilots, sailors, sculptors, painters, architects, interiors decorators and surgeons are likely to have developed spatial intelligence.
  4. Musical: This type of intelligence gives sensitivity to musical rhythms and patterns. It is the capacity to produce, create, and manipulate musical patterns. Persons high on this intelligence are very sensitive to sounds and vibrations and in creating new patterns of sounds; for example, singers are likely to be strong in this components.
  5. Bodily Kinesthetic: In this type of intelligence, the whole or portion of the body is used flexibly and creatively. This consists of the use of the whole body or portion of it for display or construction of products and problem solving. It requires the skills and dexterity for fine coordinated motor movements such as those required for dancing, athletics, surgery, and craft making.
  6. Interpersonal: It is the sensitivity to subtle aspects of other’s behaviors. This is the skill of understanding the motives, feelings and behavior of other people so as to bond into comfortable relationship with others. For example, psychologists, counselors, politicians, social workers, and religious leaders have high degree of interpersonal intelligence.
  7. Intrapersonal: it is an awareness of one’s own feelings, motives, and desires. This refers to the knowledge of one’s internal strengths and limitations and using that knowledge to effectively relate to others. Persons high on this ability have finer sensibilities regarding their identity, human existence and meaning of life. For example, philosophers and spiritual leaders having strong intrapersonal skills.
  8. Naturalistic: It is the sensitivity to the features of the natural world. It is related to recognizing the flora and fauna and making a distinction in the natural world. It is more possessed by hunters, farmers, tourists, students of biological sciences and the like.

What is Intelligence?

What is Intelligence?

What is Intelligence
What is Intelligence?
The word intelligence derives from the Latin word “interlegere” which means to pick out or discern. It is it is an individual’s capacity to act purposefully, think rationally and deal effectively with his/her environment.Intelligence is an innate cognitive ability. In other words, intelligence is a general mental capability that involves the ability to reason, plan solve problems, comprehend complex ideas, and learn quickly; it is the ability to acquire and apply knowledge and skills. It is not merely book learning or gaining academic skills. Rather, it reflects a broader and deeper capability for comprehending our surroundings—catching on, making sense of things or figuring out what to do.
According to Woodworth and Marquis, “Intelligence means intellect put to use. It is the use of intellectual abilities for handling a situation or accomplishing any task”. Intelligence may be regarded as a sort of mental energy in the form of mental (cognitive) abilities available with an individual to enable him to handle his environment in terms of adaptation and facing new situations as effectively as possible.
Individuals differ from one another in their ability to understand complex ideas, to adapt effectively to the environment, to learn from experience, to engage in various forms of reasoning, to overcome obstacles, and so on. Though, these individual differences can be substantial, they are never entirely consistent, a given person’s intellectual performance will vary on different occasions, in different domains as judged by different criteria.

Approaches of Intelligence:

There are different approaches with the help of which different groups of psychologists investigated intelligence. These are the following:
  • Psychometric Approach
  • Information Processing Approach

Psychometric Approach: This approach focuses on measuring differences in intellectual abilities. According to this approach, intelligence is the ability to learn in an abstract manner or to think or adapt to his/her environment.
The theories of intelligence like the two factor theory and the multifactor theory is related to this approach. The two factor theory of intelligence states that all human intellectual abilities have a common and a general factor. Spearman’s theory is an example and he calls the general factor the “g” factor and describes it as mental energy that is involved in all mental activities. There is also a specific factor “s” in intelligence which is specific to a task. The multifactor theory of intelligence describes intelligence in terms of separate factor or underlying specific abilities.

Information Processing Approach: The information processing group goes one step further by focusing on cognitive processes underlying the intellectual abilities. Cognitive processes include all processes of the mind such as memory, reasoning, visualization, problem solving, and so on. The theory which uses this information processing approach is Robert Stenberg’s Triarchic theory.

Theories of Intelligence:

Theories of Intelligence
Theories of Intelligence
Intelligence is one of the most popular psychological terms used in everyday life. The expression of intelligence is not limited to any particular activity, domain or context; rather it is manifested in every human activity. For long, the study of intelligence was confined to the cognitive domain. Now, it is believed that intelligence is not a single entity (or having single dimension), rather it has multiple dimensions or aspects.

Factor Theories of Intelligence: In making decisions about intelligence, many have used a statistical technique known as factory analysis. The technique is a way of identifying groups of abilities or behavior or traits that are related to one another. In the area of intelligence testing, the technique is usually applied to several specific sub-tests; each designed to measure one specific cognitive ability. Factor analysis poses several problems for the investigator, for example, different methods of factors analysis can yield different factors and it is often hard to judge which factors are the best. Examples of factor theories of intelligence are G factor theory, multifactor theories and hierarchical theory.

Process Oriented Theories of Intelligence: each of the preceding theories is an attempt to unravel intelligence to find its component parts and describe how those parts fit together. This is not the only path to an understanding of intelligence. An alternate approach taken by several influential theorists is to focus on intellectual processes the patterns of thinking that people use whey they reason and solve problems. Also, they are often more interested in how people go about solving problems and figuring out answers than in how many right answers people get finally, the process oriented theorists tend to focus on the development of intellectual processes.

Monday, 13 February 2017

School of Behaviorism

The “School of Behaviorism” had developed as a reaction against “Structuralism” and “Functionalism” in the United States of America (USA).  It is a systematic approach to understand behavior of both human being and animal. For behaviorists, psychology is the science of behavior; and by behavior they mean observable and measurable aspects of behavior only.

School of Behaviorism
School of Behaviorism
According to the Behavioral Approach, human behavior is learnt; therefore, all behavior can be unlearnt and in its place new behaviors can be learnt. For them, only those things which we can see and observe are worth studying. Behaviorists believe that they cannot see the mind, but they can see how people act, react and behave. For behaviorists, what people do is the subject of the study, rather than what they think or feel.

The earliest derivatives of Behaviorism dates back to late 1800s when Edward Thorndike had introduced for the very first time in the history “the law of effect”. The law of effect is an exercise to strengthen behavior using reinforcement.
John B. Watson, an American psychologist, had started in 1913 the movement of “Behaviourism” in 1913. For this reason, he is widely considered as the founder of “Behaviorism” or Behavioral Psychology.  Opposing the concept of inner experience, Watson stated that observable behavior was the only dependable source of information. This approach was a reaction against the “Structuralism” whose emphasis was on introspection.

John B. Watson, an American psychologist
John B. Watson
According to the Behaviorism, environment plays an important role in shaping or influencing an individual's behavior. It looks at association or connection between stimulus and response. It assumes that all behaviors are the outcomes of a response to certain stimuli in the environment.
The school of behaviorism was significantly influenced by the work of Ivan P. Pavlov, a Russian physiologist, who is globally renowned for his “classical conditioning”. Classical conditioning is also sometimes labeled as “respondent conditioning” or “Pavlovian condition”.
In a famous study, Pavlov rang a bell each time he gave a dog some food. The dog's mouth would water when the animal smelled the food. After Pavlov repeated the procedure many times, the dog's saliva began to flow whenever the animal heard the bell, even if no food appeared. This experiment demonstrated that a reflex--such as the flow of saliva--can become associated with a stimulus other than the one that first produced it--in this case, the sound of a bell instead of the smell of food. The learning process by which a response becomes associated with a new stimulus is called conditioning. 

Watson and the other behaviorists realized that human behavior could also be changed by conditioning. In fact, Watson believed he could produce almost any response by controlling an individual’s environment. 

What are the “Schools of Psychology”?

To begin with, let’s understand the concept of “School” and its definition. Then, we will discuss various schools of psychology.

Schools of Psychology
Schools of Psychology
In a layman’s term, a “school” is a set of persons or group of people who share common opinions, beliefs and outlook of a philosophy. For example, if a collection of people during the same age possesses similar kind of beliefs and express parallel opinions, they are called to be of the same school. A “school” suggests followership and uniformity.

Now, when we say “Schools of Psychology”, we mean a group of psychologists who associate themselves with the early leaders in the new discipline. Psychologists, who form a school, work on common problems and share a common systematic orientation or direction.

After having a sense of what “schools of psychology” are, now we will get to know various schools of psychology. These are the following:

Structuralism (or, Structural Psychology):  
Being termed as a theory of consciousness, “Structuralism” seeks to study the elements of conscious experience of an individual. This movement of Structuralism is largely considered to be the first “school of psychology”. It had represented the emergence of psychology as a discipline separate from philosophy. Structuralism was founded by Wilhelm Wundt and his pupil Edward Bradford Titchener

Wundt had set up in 1879 the first psychological laboratory at University of Leipzig in Germany. He had taught Titchener who entered his laboratory at the University of Leipzig in 1890 and earned his doctorate (Ph.D.) in 1892.

Psychologists who belong to this school of psychology (structuralism) believe that the key objective of psychology is to describe, analyze, and explain conscious experience. They seek to examine conscious experience by reducing it to basic conscious elements that in turn is broken down into basic elements. After that, they discover how these components integrate with each other to form more complex experiences.

Psychologists, belonging to this school of psychology, use the tool of “introspection” in order to find out various elements of consciousness. In the simplest term, Introspection refers to a careful set of observations under controlled conditions. Introspection is made by trained observers.

Titchener’s “theory of structuralism” answers the question of what each element of the mind is. According to him, “conscious experience” consists of three types of elements, namely Sensations", “Images, and “Affections. Titchener goes on the say that these mental elements combine and interact with each other in order to form conscious experience based on the idea of associationism. After that, Titchener’s theory of structuralism ask the question of why the elements interact in the way they do.
Structuralism psychology had lost its substantial influence after the death of Titchener in 1927. However, the movement of Structuralism led to the emergence of many counter-movements such as Functionalism, Behaviorism, and Gestalt psychology.

Structuralism had to face a lot of criticism mainly for its focus on “introspection” as the method by which psychologists claimed to get an understanding of conscious experience. According to critics, self-analysis was not possible because introspective students cannot appreciate the mechanisms of their own psychological (or mental) processes.

To know more about other Schools of Psychology, read my other posts. 
Click Here for School of Behaviorism