Learning Theory:
Behaviorism Overview

Behaviorism as applied to learning theory assumes the learner responds in some way to external or environmental stimuli and their resulting behavior is shaped as a direct result of positive or negative reinforcement.

This type of behavior is seen in animals from the amoeba to the human. Based on the idea that “we” (and broadly, all living things) want to achieve or remain in a non-threatening environment and seek “good” things for ourselves, behaviorism tools and techniques can be used to introduce or reinforce learning concepts.

Rewards and punishment then become important tools for learning, which, in this context, can be defined as a change in behavior based on a response to stimuli.


This blog post is part of my Learning Theories Series, in which I explore various ideas and concepts used in developing learning materials.  

Ivan Pavlov
Ivan Pavlov 1849-1936