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What is learning? On the nature and merits of a functional definition of learning

Jan De Houwer (UGent) , D Barnes-Holmes and Agnes Moors (UGent)
(2013) PSYCHONOMIC BULLETIN & REVIEW. 20(4). p.631-642
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Organization
Abstract
Learning has been defined functionally as changes in behavior that result from experience or mechanistically as changes in the organism that result from experience. Both types of definitions are problematic. We define learning as ontogenetic adaptation-that is, as changes in the behavior of an organism that result from regularities in the environment of the organism. This functional definition not only solves the problems of other definitions, but also has important advantages for cognitive learning research.
Keywords
RADICAL BEHAVIORISM, PSYCHOLOGY, ATTENTION, REFLEX, Learning, Conditioning, Definition

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Citation

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Chicago
De Houwer, Jan, D Barnes-Holmes, and Agnes Moors. 2013. “What Is Learning? On the Nature and Merits of a Functional Definition of Learning.” Psychonomic Bulletin & Review 20 (4): 631–642.
APA
De Houwer, J., Barnes-Holmes, D., & Moors, A. (2013). What is learning? On the nature and merits of a functional definition of learning. PSYCHONOMIC BULLETIN & REVIEW, 20(4), 631–642.
Vancouver
1.
De Houwer J, Barnes-Holmes D, Moors A. What is learning? On the nature and merits of a functional definition of learning. PSYCHONOMIC BULLETIN & REVIEW. 2013;20(4):631–42.
MLA
De Houwer, Jan, D Barnes-Holmes, and Agnes Moors. “What Is Learning? On the Nature and Merits of a Functional Definition of Learning.” PSYCHONOMIC BULLETIN & REVIEW 20.4 (2013): 631–642. Print.
@article{3107030,
  abstract     = {Learning has been defined functionally as changes in behavior that result from experience or mechanistically as changes in the organism that result from experience. Both types of definitions are problematic. We define learning as ontogenetic adaptation-that is, as changes in the behavior of an organism that result from regularities in the environment of the organism. This functional definition not only solves the problems of other definitions, but also has important advantages for cognitive learning research.},
  author       = {De Houwer, Jan and Barnes-Holmes, D and Moors, Agnes},
  issn         = {1069-9384},
  journal      = {PSYCHONOMIC BULLETIN \& REVIEW},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {4},
  pages        = {631--642},
  title        = {What is learning? On the nature and merits of a functional definition of learning},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.3758/s13423-013-0386-3},
  volume       = {20},
  year         = {2013},
}

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