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Subject Psychology

Key-Topics learning

DOI: 10.1111/b.9780631170488.1995.x


One of the modalities of information processing which leads to the modification of systems of thought, action and feeling, by trial and error, as a function of data received from the internal and/or external environment. It is based upon various different forms of memory which incorporate data which may in some cases be transmitted from one generation to another. Learning is what enables us to acquire unconscious and preconscious automatisms as a result of experiences gained in familial and social interaction. It is distinct from: (a) the processing of information without storage of the processed data action; (see homeostasis ; instinct ); and (b) adaptive behaviour modifications acquired individually, without secondary transformation as a response to their success or failure (see becoming accustomed; habituation; imprinting ; etc.), corresponding to Bateson's zero learning. Learning is a key concept for the understanding of the structural processes which go on within a family; it enables us to explain the effect and limits of therapeutic actions. The family ecosystem is the societal acquisition of vertebrates (phylogenetic acquisition) which creates the basis for inter-individual social relations. The family enables related organisms to give aid to their progeniture, to develop the differentiation of inter-individual recognition, to promote the acquisition and maturation of ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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