Jan De Houwer

All living things, from basic microorganisms to complex humans, are united by learning. What, though, is learning? How does it function, too? Psychologists have studied such issues for more than a century. While cognitive scientists have worked to understand the mental mechanisms that allow us to learn, behavior analysts have focused on how the environment affects behavior. The important discoveries and significant insights from functional (behavior analysis) and cognitive techniques are incorporated in this book’s introduction to the psychology of learning.

After providing an overview, the book analyzes studies that demonstrate how seemingly insignificant environmental patterns can significantly impact behavior, including effects of habituation, classical conditioning, and operant conditioning. It introduces the idea of complicated learning and takes into account the possibility that, for vocal humans, even seemingly straightforward learning styles may be examples of complex learning. Finally, it provides numerous examples of how learning-related psychological research is being applied to advance human wellbeing and solve social issues like climate change.

The boxed text extends the discussion of particular themes throughout the book, and “think it through” questions assist readers in grasping the material more thoroughly. The book can be used as a reference by researchers who study behavior and thinking as well as an introductory textbook for undergraduate and graduate students on the psychology of learning.