Sunday, April 11, 2010

Behaviorism: Edward Lee Thorndike's Connectionism Theory

Connectionism Theory or simply S-R or Stimulus-Response Theory by Thorndike is actually one of the most applied theories of learning. It gave us the three laws of learning in which shall I say, most widely used theory in education. This theory states that learning is the outcome of the relationships between stimuli and responses. These relationships become habits and may be strengthened or weakened depending on the nature and the frequency of stimuli and responses themselves. Don't be confused when I say relationship or bonds. What I mean here is learning or a behavior is formed when we find a certain stimulus meaningful to us or have the strong "connection" that we respond to them. These connections become strong and can be further explained by Thorndike's Three Laws of Learning.

1. LAW OF EFFECT. Connections are strengthened if the consequence or the effect is positive. In short, behavior or learning will take place or be repeated if the result of such action is pleasant. For example, students would want to study more if they know that they will be given a reward or a treat when they will get high grades. On the other hand, connection between the stimulus and response weakens when the effect is negative. For example, students will not be noisy because they know that they will be scolded if they do so. However, Thorndike reiterated that negative consequences do not necessarily weaken the connections, same is true that positive consequences do not always guarantee the recurrence of behavior. For example, students already know the good effects of studying hard, but why is it that some students are still too lazy to study? Teachers impose consequences for those disobedient and naughty students but why are still some students who are "hard-headed"? But in general, this law can be really applied especially in the classroom setting though there might be some exceptions due to certain factors.

2. LAW OF EXERCISE. Practice makes perfect. This is the cliche that could best describe this law. This means that the more you do or practice a certain behavior, then it will be strengthened. Connection becomes strong. However, practice or exercise doesn't strengthened a behavior or performance without feedback. Feedback is necessary especially if we aim for an improved performance or behavior. So, practice with feedback makes perfect. Hehe...

3. LAW OF READINESS. Proper mind set is the key word in this law. This law states that the more "ready" an individual to respond to a stimulus, the stronger will be the bond between them. And, if an individual is ready to respond but is not made to respond, it becomes frustrating and annoying to that person. I would like to have my personal experience as an example. Our schedule for our licensure examination was scheduled September 27. We were very nervous, some are excited, the adrenalin is rushing through our bodies, and we are "ready" for "battle". But, because of the typhoon Ondoy, it was announced on the 26th, the day before the examination, that the test was cancelled and it will be held a week after. Some of us are really annoyed, frustrated, angry and even cried. Of course you know what I mean. This is also true if our board examination will be moved earlier in which we are not yet "ready" to take it. Of course, this is also frustrating and disappointing on our part to take the exam knowing the fact the we weren't ready. Now this is the law of readiness. Hehehe...

12 comments:

  1. how if you try in indonesia..you're very welcome

    nicely,
    Bolehngeblog

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  2. hi...tnx for your comments.. at least i know that some people read my blog...just continue reading hehehe...

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  3. can u add some sample illustrations? for us to fully understand it.. anyway, thanks for the info.

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  4. nice! this will help a lot with my report tomorrow. :)

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  5. where do you get your references???

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  6. combination of the books usually used by education students and the internet of course...

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    1. thanks for the added info:)i will be taking LET this coming september:)thanks you so much,.do you have other learning theories?

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  7. thank you so much for the info ....it helps me on my subject tomorrow...it adds clarifications to myself...:)

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  8. wow so simplified that my psychology issues are automatically solved ;)

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  9. thank you very simple and understandable
    terms with examples nice job!

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  10. I need some examples of connectionism theory inside the classroom

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  11. you have really helped me in my assignment.... thank u so much...

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