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PART I. Introduction to Human Learning
Chapter 1 Perspectives on Learning
Chapter 2 Learning and the Brain
PART II. Behaviorist Views of Learning
Chapter 3 Behaviorism and Classical Conditioning
Chapter 4 Instrumental Conditioning
Chapter 5 Applications of Instrumental Conditioning
PART III. Social Cognitive Theory
Chapter 6 Social Cognitive Theory
PART IV. Cognitive Views of Learning
Chapter 7 Introduction to Cognition and Memory
Chapter 8 Long-Term Memory I: Storage
Chapter 9 Long-Term Memory II: The Nature of Knowledge
Chapter 10 Long-Term Memory III: Retrieval and Forgetting
PART V. Developmental Perspectives
Chapter 11 Developmental Perspectives on Cognition
PART VI. Complex Learning and Cognition
Chapter 12 Metacognition, Self-Regulated Learning, and Study Strategies
Chapter 13 Transfer and Problem Solving
Chapter 14 Social Processes in Knowledge Construction
PART VII. Motivation
Chapter 15 Motivation and Affect
Chapter 16 Cognitive Factors in Motivation
Human learning is a fascinating process, and psychologists discover more about it every year. Yet I am saddened and frustrated by how little nonpsychologists seem to know about how they themselves learn and about how they can best help others learn in instructional settings. Research is clear on this point: How something is taught, studied, and thought about definitely does make a difference in what people learn, how well they understand it, how long they remember it, and how readily they apply it to new situations and problems.
I have written this textbook with particular students in mind: students who would like to learn about learning but often do not have much background in psychology. Such students may benefit from studying the historical roots of learning theories but prefer to focus their energies on studying contemporary perspectives and ideas. These students might find learning theories fascinating but lose patience when they cannot see the relevance of those theories to everyday practice. These students are capable of reading a dry, terse textbook but probably learn more effectively from a book that shows how different concepts relate to one another, provides numerous examples, and, especially, emphasizes meaningful learning--true understanding--of the material it presents.
This fourth edition of Human Learning indifferent in many ways from the third edition of 1998. A new Chapter 2 introduces readers to the anatomy and physiology of the brain, speculates about the physiological bases of learning and memory, and dispels common myths about brain functioning and development. Behaviorist views of learning havebeen condensed from four chapters into three, with closer attention to how early behaviorists built on one another's ideas. The contents of the "old" Chapter 13 (expository instruction, teaching concepts, mnemonics, etc.) have been integrated into other chapters, where various instructional strategies can be more closely tied to the principles and theories on which they are based. And the virtual explosion of research on human motivation in recent years has made it necessary to expand my discussion of motivation to three chapters.
In addition to the discussion of the brain in chapter 2, many new topics appear throughout the book. Examples include measures of learning (Chapter 1); noncontingent reinforcement as a means of reducing undesirable behaviors (Chapter 4); effects of high-stakes testing (Chapter 5); functional analysis (Chapter 5); collective self-efficacy (Chapter 7); phonological loop and visuospatial sketchpad (Chapter 9); the generation effect (Chapter 10); acquisition of procedural knowledge (Chapter 10); confirmation bias (Chapter 11); false memories (Chapter 12); theory of mind, intentional learning, and epistemic doubt (Chapter 13); near versus far transfer (Chapter 14); visual imagery in problem solving (Chapter 14); the social nature of learning (Chapter 15); technology-based discussions (Chapter 15); arousal and relatedness as basic human needs (Chapter 16); performance-approach, performance-avoidance, work-avoidance, social, and career goals (Chapter 17); dispositions (Chapter 17); interrelationships among motivation, affect, and self-regulation (Chapter 17) process versus product goals (Chapter 17); entity versus incremental views of intelligence (Chapter 18); intrapersonal versus interpersonal attributions, and cultural differences in attributions (Chapter 18). And, more generally, I have rewritten every chapter to reflect the latest developments in learning theory and research.