The Complexity of Cognitive Learning
Michael J. Galt
Everest University – Melbourne
Learning is complex. In fact, it is so complex, a variety of theories are available to answer the questions as to how and why learning occurs. The fact that learning is complex provides reason to believe that those questions will be answered most accurately with a proportionately complex solution. A complex theory, or rather set of theories, proposed to answer those questions is the concept of cognitive learning. The theory of cognitive learning can attribute its true potential to the different peoples who have contributed to it by identifying different ‘types’ of cognitive learning (insight, latent, and observational learning), where each type uses a variety of means to process information and solve problems, even relying on creativity to solve these problems at times (Nevid, 2013).
Before attempting to explain the contributions of researchers and practitioners, it is important to identify what they have contributed to. As has been already explained, the topic is about the theory of cognitive learning. The theory attempts to “explain mental processes as they are influenced by both intrinsic and extrinsic factors, which eventually bring about learning in an individual” (Sincero, 2013); however, though cognitive research does provide some explanations on the process of leaning, the theories primary focus is to explain how an individual’s learning creates the cognitive structures that will determine the concepts they use to exist within and define their environment an themselves (Grider, 1993). To truly understand the theory, it must be broken down into its two subcomponent theories – Social Cognitive Theory (SCT) and Cognitive Behavioral Theory (CBT). The SBT relies on the interrelation of three influencing factors: behavioral factors, extrinsic environmental factors, and intrinsic personal factors. The...