How the Current Crisis Reveals the Power of Social Learning - Deepstash

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How the Current Crisis Reveals the Power of Social Learning

https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/spontaneous-thoughts/202004/how-the-corona-crisis-reveals-the-power-social-learning

psychologytoday.com

How the Current Crisis Reveals the Power of Social Learning
People are constantly adapting to their environment. As a trivial example, you might start ordering on a regular basis from a specific restaurant after a few very positive experiences with their food. Such changes in behavior are instances of " learning " and have been studied by psychologists for more than a century.

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Social learning

There are mainly two ways to learn something throughout one's life: by means of personal experience or as a result of observing how others react to certain situations. The second kind is what we call 'social learning'. The current epidemic is actually showing us how much powerful social learning can be in times of danger: we all obey the same rules, even if most of us have not yet been affected by the virus.

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The good and the bad of the social learning

In times like the current one, when we are all facing a pandemic that forces us to stay locked in our own houses, without any face-to-face interaction with a person other than the ones we share our house with, social learning seems to be the solution to fight both fear and depression. By means of different platforms that enable users to interact or handle difficult situations that might appear as a result of the current lockdown, individuals might become able to cope with this challenging period. However, one should always pay attention to the behaviour that is being promoted, as not everything that is done by a majority can prove overall beneficial.

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Learning theories

Learning theories develop hypotheses that describe how learning takes place.

The major theories of learning are the following: 

  • behaviorist theories 
  • co...

Behaviorism theories

The behaviorist perspectives of learning originated in the early 1900s. The main idea of behaviorism is that learning consists of a change in behavior because of obtaining, strengthening and applying associations between input from the world, and observations of the individual.

  • Learning is reinforced by exercise and repetition, followed by a positive reward.
  • Learning takes place when the right parts of more complex behavior are rewarded.

Cognitive psychology

Cognitive psychology started in the late 1950s and contributed to the move away from behaviorism.

  • Instead of viewing people as collections of responses to external stimuli, people are viewed as information processors.
  • Cognitive psychology was influenced by the computer that processes information, that became analogous to the human mind.
  • Cognitive psychology understands learning as absorbing knowledge, acting on it, and storing it in memory.
  • The main teaching methods are lecturing and reading textbooks, where the learner receives knowledge passively.

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Meditation sharpens your attention

Meditation helps to counter our tendency to stop paying attention to new information in our environment. Other studies have found that mindfulness meditation can reduce mind-wandering and improve attention.

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Consistent meditation

Long-term, consistent meditation mindfulness changes our ability to handle stress in a better, more sustainable way.

  • Practicing meditation reduces the inflammatory response in people exposed to psychological stressors.
  • Mindfulness practices help us to be less reactive to stressors and to recover better from stress when we experience it.