The relationship between learning and cognition Essay

Custom Student Mr. Teacher ENG 1001-04 2 August 2016

The relationship between learning and cognition

Many theorists over the years have held case studies devoted to cognition and learning. Some theorists theories have been modified to reflect new scientific data. However, there are still more questions to be tested from the newest modifications of data. In this paper the audience will see what learning is, how learning and behavior affect one another, the different styles associated with learning, and the relationship between learning and cognition.

What is learning?Learning is the process by which a person gathers the information. (Alliance, 2007) This should not be confused with memory which is the process by which information is stored for usage later. Learning is basically the attempt to create a memory from information that will last. Humans as a race gather information and classify that data or organize that data as a means to strengthen or shape the mind. Each person is capable of capturing and learning information even before the individual is born, and then encoding that information throughout the nerve cells that affect memory. (Alliance, 2007)

Once that data is encoded into memory it can be organized in the brain, which will then allow that person to organize the abstracts as well as physical objects into organized groups. (Alliance, 2007) When a person goes into a classroom setting it is good for him or her to be taught those skills necessary to go through school. However, should the person not use some of the information throughout his or her daily life then some of that information may be forgotten. That does not mean that the information cannot be recalled should a part of the memory be jogged, but does mean that a person does not use that information enough to constitute remembering that information right away.

What are the styles associated with learning?There are three different classifications of learning. Those three classifications are visual, auditory, and tactile/kinesthetic. The visual learner will learn through observation and must see all the body languages of the instructor in order to fully understand the content. (Bogod, 1998) The auditory learner must communicate through verbal discussions in order to fully understand the content. The tactile/kinesthetic learner is a hands-on-learner, and will learn the content through actually doing the taught content. The majority of people will fit into these three categories, but sometimes people can overlap into more than one category as well. (Bogod, 1998) Thus, the individual develops learning from more than one area. For example, an auditory learner that also learns hands on can be expressed as a tactile-auditory learner. This can help to increase multi-tasking as the learner advances in certain areas.

Learning and Behavior

Behavior is directly related to these learning categories because if a person tries to learn by a method that the individual is not normally used it can cause complications with how the individual retains that information. Thus, directly affects the quality of the work performed by the learned individual. For example, a verbal learner must be able to learn from verbal communication, whereas the tactile learner is hands on. If a person who is hands on individual tries to learn through verbal communication that person may become frustrated when it comes to actually applying the information told verbally to that person.

For the verbal learner to try to apply the learned information through means of hands on experience without verbal communication can have complications and the person also becomes frustrated. Frustrated individuals often find his or herself easily distracted, or less quality results produced in the end. It is up to the individual to figure out what type of learner he or she is, and then adapt to the learning style in order to execute it into areas of his or her life in which learning is important. However, when a person is unable to find the right learning style, or tries to use a different style to learn than there are two things that can happen. One, the person becomes frustrated and eventually gives up. Two, the person adapts to the learning style, but the process is much slower.

Learning and Cognition

There are three theories in correlation with cognition in learning. These three theories are socio-constructivist, socio-cultural, and shared cognition. (Dillingburg, 1994) The socio-constructivist theory is that the individual learns best through means of interaction with people of his or her own peer level. (Dillingburg, 1994) This theory does not really have the overall identifying factors associated with enhancement of collaborative learning. However, it is an extension of the learning theories produced from Piaget. (Dillingburg, 1994) Socio-cultural theory is the theory that an individual learns through means of social interaction within a group of individuals. (Doise, 1990) This is an extension of Vygotskys theory of proximal developmental theory.

Proximal developmental theory basically states that an individual learns and retains information from a collaborative group effort over a period of time. (Doise, 1990) Thus, the individual learns through studying and interaction with his or her social group. This can also be defined his or her cultural group. Shared cognition is learning that involves the environment as the main source of learning. This shows how people around the individual react to his or her environment, and will determine how the person learning will adjust to his or her environment in the same manner. (Doise, 1990) This theory adapts both physical and social aspects of the environment instead of either one. Shared cognition suggests that the individual needs both items to adapt, learn, and retain information.


Adapting, learning, and recalling learned information is important to an individuals evolution. In this paper the audience saw that learning styles are important to the way a person learns. A few of those learning ways are social, cultural, and environmental. Behavior, performance, quality, and interaction are all related to how the individual learns through his or her own unique style. Theories have been expressed through years of case studies, and even as one theory is adopted as fact another theory takes it place. Thus, theories about learning will continue to help the human race mold new information into future studies.


Alliance, D. (2007). What is Learning?, AARP: Journals, 4(2), 34-35.

Bogod, L. (1998). What Are the Different Learning Types?, Learning and Disabilities 12-15.

Dillingburg, D. (1994). Learning through Cognition, Journal of Developmental Psychology, 3(1), 33-40.

Doise, L. (1990). Theories of Cognitive Learning, Journal of Developmental
Psychology, 3(2), 23-28.

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