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Cognitive Learning Theory

Cognitive learning theory seeks to understand how the brain learns. This theory tries to explain the various mental processes, both internal and external, that affect how the individual learns. There are two main components to cognitive learning theory, social cognitive theory (SCT) and cognitive behavioral theory (CBT). Theorist Jean Piaget was instrumental in developing cognitive learning theory, demonstrating that children think in very different ways from adults. This led to the notion that cognition is a lifelong development. Cognitive Learning Theory

Under the social cognitive theory aspect, there are three interactive variables that cause learning. Behavior, personal factors (intrinsic) and environmental (extrinsic) factors combine. An example of an intrinsic factor in learning is the person’s behavior, while external factors include stress or the social environment. This aspect of cognitive learning theory states that there are several basic concepts that define learning, including: observation, reproduction, self-efficacy, emotional coping, and self-regulation.

Cognitive behavioral therapy, on the other hand, places cognition (thinking) at the center of predicting behavior. People have a tendency to form self-concepts that can affect their behavior, either positive or negative. At the center of this theory is what is known as the Cognitive Triad: the self, the environment, and the future.

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