The Theories of Learning


Operant Conditioning

- Also known as a Behaviourist Theory.

- Coach uses a manipulative approach to ensure the skills are learned, using the principle that actions for which the athlete is rewarded are more likely to be repeated.                                    - Is the use of reinforcement to link correct responses to a stimulus. 

- Based on B.F.Skinner's work of observing rats in a cage called 'Skinner Box' in 1948.

-  Key features: 1. Based on trial-and-error learning. 2. Coach manipulating environment.               3. Shaping behaviour using reinforcement.

- Reinforced actions are strengthened and incorrect actions weakened.

Satisfier: An action that promotes a pleasant feeling so that responses are repeated.                   Annoyer: An action that creates unease to promote the avoidance of incorrect responses.

1. Negative reinforcement: taking away unpleasant stimulus when response is correct                  2. Positive reinforcement: pleasant stimulus given in response to a correct action.                       3. Punishment: giving an unpleasant stimulus to prevent incorrect actions occurring.

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Observational Learning

- Can also be called The Social Learning Theory.

- Albert Bandura in 1977.

- Suggests both acceptable and unacceptable behaviour can be learned by watching and then copying other people.

- Coaches can use strategies to ensure that the demonstrations and role models used to show skills during practice are successfully copied be players.

1. Attention

2. Retention

3. Motor reproduction

4. Motivation

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